Mar 05, 2022

Shabazz scores 57 points as San Miguel rallies from 26-points down to stun Meralco

WITH a stellar 57-point performance against the team that originally recruited him for the PBA Governors' Cup, Shabazz Muhammad powered San Miguel Beer past Meralco, 115-110, and into third place in the standings.

Muhammad exploded with 45 in the second half as he sparked SMB's fightback from a 26-point deficit to steal their way to their seventh win in front of a good-sized crowd Saturday night at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

The five-year NBA veteran scored 21 in the final period alone, outscoring the entire Meralco team by three in the closeout to seal the Beermen's back-to-back victories ending their 11-game elims.

"I told my teammates once my shot gets in, they're (Meralco) gonna be in trouble because they can't sag off. I'm really tired now but man, that was a great win," said Muhammad who also hauled down 19 rebounds plus an assist, a steal and a block but with seven errors in 45 minutes of action.

Muhammad's scorcher was the most in a PBA game since San Miguel's Tyler Wilkerson had 58 and NLEX's Al Thornton had 69 against each other in a 131-127 overtime win by the Beermen on April 5, 2016 in the Commissioner's Cup.

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Tony Bishop, the Panamanian tapped by Meralco as import after the initial deal with Muhammad fizzled out, finished with 29 and 14.

Bishop and the Bolts held a 110-107 cushion going to the last 1:38 but failed to score against SMB's 8-0 windup to fall to their third consecutive loss. The Bolts dropped to 6-4 overall in a tie with idle Alaska.

June Mar Fajardo (16-14) and Vic Manuel (13) also delivered double-digit production for SMB, which turned the tables around with a 69-40 exchange coming off the halftime break.

"We had a lengthy talk at the dugout and it served as a wakeup. It's really all about heart, executing the plays and playing as a team both on offense and defense. We were down by 26 and we thought it's impossible but miracles do happen," said Austria. (OL)

The Scores:

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San Miguel 115 - Muhammad 57, Fajardo 16, Manuel 13, Lassiter 10, Romeo 9, Perez 6, Tautuaa 4, Brondial 0, Cruz 0,

Meralco 110 - Bishop 29, Quinto 18, Maliksi 16, Black 13, Banchero 13, Almazan 9, Hugnatan 7, Newsome 5, Hodge 0.

Quarters: 28-36, 46-70, 83-92, 115-110.