San Miguel rode on the hot hands of Shabazz Muhammad to pull off a huge come-from-behind win over Meralco, 115-110, in the 2021-22 PBA Governors’ Cup, Saturday night at the SMART Araneta Coliseum.

/ 6 March 2022

Shabazz Muhammad unloaded a whopping 57 points and hauled 19 rebounds to carry San Miguel to its second straight win with a 7-4 record — third place in the tilt and still in the running for a twice-to-beat quarterfinal bonus.

San Miguel bucked on a poor start as the squad trailed behind with 24 points early in the third quarter which saw four Meralco players already in double-digits, led by import Tony Bishop with 15 points. 

But the former NBA player changed the tide as he fired 24 points in the third quarter including 13 straight to trim the deficit within single digits, 92-83. 

Muhammad continued to fire on all fronts in the final salvo, scoring 15 points in a 17-6 run, including the go-ahead and-one play, as the Beermen earned a 100-98 lead with 8:40 minutes remaining.

The Bolts countered with an 8-0 spurt to go up again, 106-100, but Marcio Lassiter and June Mar Fajardo backstopped Muhammad with baskets of their own. 

With 29 seconds left on the clock, despite Muhammad missing both free throws, the 29-year-old picked up his mistake after securing the rebound for a putback basket as they regained the lead, 111-110.

Chris Ross then forced a turnover in the next play, paving the way for Muhammad for another two free throws, 113-110, that basically sealed the win for San Miguel.

“It looked like a miracle. Against Meralco, they are leading, we thought that it is impossible. But miracles happen every second. What happened tonight is a gift for us and a wake-up call for us,” San Miguel coach Leo Austria said.

“I’m so thankful dahil na-unleash namin yung potential si Shabazz,” he added.

June Mar Fajardo tallied 16 points alongside 14 boards, Vic Manuel finished with 13 markers, while Marcio Lassiter added 10 points.

On the other side, Bishop led the Bolts with 29 points and 14 rebounds, while Bong Quinto had 18 points in the deflating defeat that cost them their twice-to-beat advantage in the quarterfinals.

The scores:

San Miguel 115 – Muhammad 57, Fajardo 14, Manuel 13, Lassiter 10, Romeo 9, Perez 6, Tautuaa 4, Brondial 0, Ross 0,  Cruz 0

Meralco 110 – Bishop 28, Quinto 18, Maliksi 16, Banchero 13, Black 13, Alamzan 9, Hugnatan 7,  Newsome 5, Hodge 0

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