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Tireless Standhardinger leads San Miguel past NLEX in Fajardo absence

Tireless Standhardinger leads San Miguel past NLEX in Fajardo absence

SAN Miguel Beer hardly looked vulnerable in June Mar Fajardo’s absence as it dealt NLEX a 125-112 beating in a rousing PBA Governors Cup debut on Saturday night at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

The Beermen drew strength from AZ Reid, Alex Cabagnot, and Christian Standhardinger, who suited up straight from the Philippines’ campaign in the Asian Games and filled the gap left by the injured Fajardo.

Standhardinger, 27, shrugged off fatigue to fire a career-high 36 points, Reid, a two-time Best Import awardee, had 30 while Cabagnot added 23 for the Beermen, who are coming off a finals loss to Barangay Ginebra.

“A lot of players stepped up, but I have to appreciate Christian Standhardinger, kahit pagod na pagod siya,” said coach Leo Austria on his prized rookie.

The loss by the Road Warriors spoiled the presence of national coach Yeng Guiao, who also showed up at the Big Dome straight from the airport to watch his team for the first time this conference.

NLEX fell to a 3-2 record under acting coach Jojo Lastimosa.

The Road Warriors led in the earlystages but the Beermen, energized by the sudden appearance of Standhardinger, went on a scoring spree in the second quarter.

Standhardinger exploded for 13 points during that stretch as San Miguel outscored NLEX, 36-26, to take an eight-point lead at the break.

By the third quarter, the Beermen already blew the game apart, 85-65.

“If you have a player or who has somebody in your team who’s trying hard to win, it will rub off on your teammates,” said Austria.

Marcio Lassiter added 14 points and Chris Ross contributed nine even as the injured Fajardo watched the entire game from behind the San Miguel bench.

Import Aaron Fuller had 36 points and 11 rebounds in a losing cause for NLEX.

The scores:

San Miguel (125) – Standhardinger 36, Reid 30, Cabagnot 23, Lassiter 14, Ross 9, Heruela 4, Ganuelas-Rosser 4, Santos 3, Nabong 2, Mamaril 0, Pessumal 0, Vigil 0.

NLEX (112) – Fuller 36, Miranda 16, Ighalo 16, Galanza 11, Tallo 11, Fonacier 5, Tiongson 4, Paniamogan 4, Mallari 4, Quinahan 3, Marcelo 2, Soyud 0, Gotladera 0.

Quarterscores: 28-26; 62-54; 95-79; 125-112.