SMB flexes might, draws first blood in QF series vs Converge

Unleashed in their familiar hunting ground, the Beermen wasted no time in reminding everyone why they sat atop the league’s food chain in the past years.

CJ Perez leads San Miguel Beer to a blowout Game 1 win vs Converge (PBA Images)

San Miguel Beer proved to be just a different beast in the playoffs, beating Converge on all fronts to cruise to a 114-96 victory and draw first blood in their best-of-three quarterfinals series in the 2022 PBA Commissioner’s Cup at the PhilSports Arena on Wednesday, Dec. 7.

The Beermen gave the FiberXers a dose of their own medicine with their relentless transition attacks which were anchored on the solid interior defense behind June Mar Fajardo and import Devon Scott.

SMB asserted its might in the first half and built a lead that ballooned to as many as 31 points before it leaned on the clutch performance from CJ Perez who steadied the ship for the Beermen against Converge’s huge fourth quarter storm.

Perez spearheaded the Beermen’s vaunted firepower with 25 points – seven of which came in the final five minutes of the contest to douse the FiberXers rally which cut the lead down to just 11 points in the final frame.

Scott also made sure to exact his revenge on Converge which gave him a rude welcome in his debut, posting 23 points and 12 rebounds while Fajardo was in his usual dominant self with a double-double output of 19 points and 16 rebounds.

Terrence Romeo and Marcio Lassiter added 13 and 11 points, respectively.

The FiberXers continued to threaten the Beermen in the final frame behind import Quincy Miller who poured in 41 points but their last gasp rally was ultimately foiled by Perez and the Beermen who were just too poised in the final five minutes of the game.

The Beermen made sure to put on the brakes on the FiberXers rousing offense, denying their signature transition attacks while putting enough challenge on Converge’s shooters who went 0-of-19 from deep in the first half.

On the other end of the floor, SMB just dumped the ball inside either Fajardo or Scott who both managed to create their shots inside the paint and hit open teammates from their kickout passes.

The rout however didn’t come without a scare as Converge finally found the mark at the start of the second half, going toe-to-toe with SMB as the two teams exploded for 33 points each in the third quarter.

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