San Miguel overpowers Converge in PBA PHL Cup

Jericho Cruz was unstoppable in leading the Beermen’s scoring binge against the FiberXers (PBA Images)

By Leobert Julian A. de la Peña

The San Miguel Beermen avenged their first loss of the season against the Barangay Ginebra San Miguel and bounced back against the Converge FiberXers in a one-sided 111-92 win in the ongoing 2022 PBA Philippine Cup.

It was a masterful display of team basketball for the powerhouse San Miguel squad after taking control of the game and ended the first period with a 28-16 lead.

Converge only had one instance where they cut the Beermen’s lead to single digits during the 10:08 mark of the second quarter, 30-22, and struggled the rest of the way against the waxing-hot SMB offense.

The Beermen banked on a fiery second-quarter rally and outscored Converge 34-23 to cap off their best scoring period of the game.

It was the FiberXers who struck first after Mike DiGregorio and Maverick Ahanmisi had an easy time driving against a loose SMB interior but the Beermen were quick to bounce back after tallying several steals which resulted to open fast-break layups.

Jericho Cruz paved the way for the Beermen and kicked off their efficient offense with eight points in the opening quarter including three wide-open layups that erased Converge’s lead.

The Beermen continued their offensive assault courtesy of collective efforts from June Mar Fajardo, CJ Perez, Moala Tautuaa, Marcio Lassiter, and Paul Zamar that helped balloon their lead to as much as 31 points.

Lottery pick Allyn Bulanadi tried his best to keep Converge in the game after scoring back-to-back triples as the second quarter came to a close but the Beermen responded with another offensive barrage in the second half that sealed the deal as early as the third quarter.

Converge never cut San Miguel’s lead to single digits in the entire second half and could only watch the multi-champion team dissect their zone and man-to-man defenses.

Cruz spearheaded San Miguel’s balanced scoring with 22 points backstopped by Tautuaa with 19, Fajardo with 18, Perez with 15, and Lassiter with 12.

Meanwhile, the FiberXers had Bulanadi’s best scoring output of the season so far with 22 points but was not enough to propel his team to an upset win over the Beermen.