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San Miguel outguns NorthPort in high-scoring duel to gain share of top spot

Feb 15, 2023

BOUNCE BACK. June Mar Fajardo redeems himself for San Miguel.

PBA Images

Cameron Clark erupts for 44 points as San Miguel hangs 145 points against NorthPort to improve to 6-1 and tie TNT at the top

MANILA, Philippines – San Miguel rediscovered its winning ways after seeing its unbeaten start in the PBA Governors’ Cup busted by outgunning NorthPort in a 145-132 victory at the Mall of Asia Arena on Wednesday, February 15.

Cameron Clark came up with his best performance of the conference, while June Mar Fajardo and CJ Perez also delivered as the Beermen rebounded from their first loss to Converge to improve to 6-1 and tie TNT at the top.

Taking the scoring cudgels after playing a complementary role in the previous games, Clark erupted for a career-high 44 points, 9 rebounds and 7 assists, including a bucket that ignited a run that allowed San Miguel to pull away.

An Arvin Tolentino trey pulled the Batang Pier within 125-130 before Clark sank a fadeaway jumper that sparked a 9-0 blitz capped by a Marcio Lassiter triple as the Beermen mounted a 139-125 lead with 1:30 minutes left.

Clark then ended his night with an alley-oop dunk off a Simon Enciso dime with 20 seconds remaining for good measure.

Fajardo finished with a double-double of 29 points and 12 rebounds as he redeemed himself from his subpar outing against the FiberXers, a loss that saw him foul out for the first time in nearly four years.

The six-time MVP made sure to stay in the game, scattering 10 points in the fourth quarter.

Perez put up 24 points, 5 assists, and 3 rebounds, Lassiter chimed in 16 points and 7 assists, while Vic Manuel provided quality playing time off the bench with 12 points in just nine minutes.

Simon Enciso shone as well in the win with a career-high 13 assists as San Miguel dished out a franchise-best 46 dimes, which rank third all-time by a team in a single game.

Tolentino scored a career-high 32 points on a 6-of-8 clip from beyond the arc, but his sizzling performance coupled with a 39-point eruption from import Kevin Murphy were not enough for NorthPort to clinch its first win.

Murphy added 13 rebounds and 2 steals in the loss that dropped the Batang Pier to 0-6.

Robert Bolick churned out 16 points, 10 assists, and 6 rebounds for NorthPort, while Paul Zamar posted 14 points and 4 rebounds in his first game against his former team.

The Scores

San Miguel 145 – Clark 44, Fajardo 29, Perez 24, Lassiter 16, Manuel 12, Cruz 9, Bulanadi 5, Enciso 3, Tautuaa 3, Brondial 0, Ross 0.

NorthPort 132 – Murphy 39, Tolentino 32, Bolick 16, Zamar 14, Calma 11, Chan 9, Caperal 4, Ayaay 4, Munzon 3, Balagasay 0, Taha 0.

Quarters: 40-36, 72-67, 108-96, 145-132.

– Rappler.com

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