Blackwater’s Mac Bello lunges for the ball versus SMB’s Von Pessumal.
Jun Mendoza
All-Pinoy SMB tops Blackwater
Olmin Leyba (The Philippine Star) - November 7, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA,Philippines — Injured Dez Wells sat it out but no worries, San Miguel Beer’s multi-titled local crew got this one covered.

The Beermen, the five-peat Philippine Cup titlists, soldiered on with Wells on the bench due to ankle injury and grinded out a 99-96 overtime victory over new-look Blackwater last night in the PBA Governors’ Cup at Cuneta Astrodome.

Sans the explosive Wells, five-time MVP June Mar Fajardo carried the burden with 30 points and 13 rebounds while Terrence Romeo (20), Arwind Santos (13) and Marcio Lassiter (11) chipped in solid numbers as SMB broke out of a two-game slump and took solo fourth at 6-3.

“We had a hard time figuring out our offense because our top scorer, Dez Wells, didn’t play but the players accepted the challenge,” said SMB coach Leo Austria.

“At the start, the players were surprised because the fluidity wasn’t there. We haven’t played all-Filipino for such a long time but we’re happy we’re able to snatch this win. This is one big, important game for us,” he added.

Wells, who’s good for 37.13 markers, 7.88 rebounds, 4.75 assists and two steals, hurt his foot in the second quarter of SMB’s 99-125 loss to Meralco last Oct. 27. Austria said there’s still swelling in Well’s ankle and he missed Tuesday’s practice.

“It’s nice to bounce back from two straight losses. We really need this win because we still have a chance to get to the Top 4,” said Austria, who’s now half game ahead of idle Barangay Ginebra (5-3).

After leading by nine, the Beermen were forced to extra time by three unanswered triples from Blackwater in the last 2:25 of regulation.

In the second game, title holder Magnolia romped off with a 97-81 triumph over Phoenix Pulse to improve to a  5-4 mark, closing in on fifth-running Barangay Ginebra (5-3). The Fuel Masters suffered their third consecutive loss for 2-7 overall.

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