The PBA Philippine Cup defending champion San Miguel Beermen has defeated the Star Hotshots in the PBA 42nd season opener 96-88.
Star Hotshots has officially began its new era in the PBA as they unleashed its new point guard acquired from Rain or Shine in exchange for James Yap.
However, Paul Lee struggled during the first half and committed five turnovers along with his uncharacteristic shooting from the field with 1-of-5.
On the other hand, June Mar Fajardo the three time and PBA reigning Most Valuable Player started the season with a bang as he registered a monstrous double-double performance. The Kraken registered 25 points and 16 rebounds.
My fault!!! 9 turnovers!!! SMH
— Paul John Lee (@lethalweapon03) November 20, 2016
Paul Lee and Star Hotshots went blazing at the start of the third quarter as Lee scored a quick six points but the inside presence of the Beermen is more mightier compared to the small ball offense designed by coach Chito Victolero.
According to San Miguel Head Coach Leo Issac, this is the first season opening game for the Beermen in 14 years. The last time they played their first game was against Mahindra Enforcers where it ended up as a loss.
“I was wary coming into the game kasi hindi kami sanay lumaro on opening day. If I’m not mistaken, this is our first in 14 years,” said San Miguel coach Leo Austria.
“Worried din ako kasi lagi kaming talo sa first game namin. Last time, talo kami against Mahindra with their then coach Chito Victolero,” Austria added.
Hotshots Rookie Jio Jalalon made his debut and scored in double figures as a pro, he logged with 11 points. Ginebra Head Coach Tim Cone can’t stop himself and posted this tweet.
Star looks good, Jalalon could turn out to be special. But SMB is so incredibly confident. No doubt, the team to beat.
— Tim Cone (@manilacone) November 20, 2016
SAN MIGUEL (96) – Fajardo 25, Cabagnot 22, Santos 17, Lassiter 11, Ross 7, Tubid 6, Espinas 5, Reyes 3, Garcia 1, Agovida 0.
STAR (88) – Barroca 13, Lee 12, Jalalon 11, Maliksi 10, Simon 9, Sangalang 8, Pingris 7, Ramos 6, Melton 6, Reavis 2, Pascual 2, Brondial 2.
Quarters: 26-24, 51-43, 75-79, 96-88