Beermen regain top spot, halt Hotshots’ 5-game run
ANTIPOLO — San Miguel bucked a poor shooting night to pull off a great escape past Magnolia, 77-76, and regain the top spot in the 2018 PBA Philippine Cup Sunday at Ynares Center.
Battling back from a 16-point hole, 40-56, midway in the third quarter, the Beermen took the lead on a Chris Ross three, 70-69, with 2:59 left before Chico Lanete sank another triple for a 73-71 SMB edge with 1:31 remaining.
San Miguel canned crucial freebies in the endgame while Magnolia failed to cash in on its numerous chances inside the final minute.
“We were shocked with the defense they had. Based on our experience in the last six games, it’s not that physical but tonight, it was very intense,” said SMB head coach Leo Austria.
“We’re lucky that we’re able to focus on our game plan. Maybe it’s the experience of the players because they’re used to this.”
June Mar Fajardo shot 4-of-11 from the field but still came through with 19 points, 21 rebounds, and two blocks, while Ross got 15 markers, eight boards, four assists, and three steals.
Marcio Lassiter hit three 3-pointers and wound up with 12 points on top of seven rebounds, and five assists, while Lanete got 14 built on four treys.
The Beermen won despite shooting measly 31 percent from the field and committing 19 turnovers.
San Miguel reclaimed the pole position in the standings at 6-1, while Magnolia fell to joint second place with Alaska at 6-2.
Mark Barroca saw his 21 points and five rebounds go down the drain, together with Magnolia’s five-game winning streak.
Ian Sangalang added 13 markers and six boards off the bench, while Justin Melton had 10 points, seven rebounds, and four assists in the loss.
SAN MIGUEL 77 — Fajardo 19, Ross 15, Lanete 14, Lassiter 12, Santos 11, Ganuelas-Rosser 6, Semerad 0, Agovida 0, Heruela 0, Mamaril 0, Pessumal 0.
MAGNOLIA 76 — Barroca 21, Sangalang 13, Melton 10, Jalalon 8, Ramos 7, Pingris 5, Dela Rosa 4, Reavis 4, Simon 2, Pascual 2, Herndon 0.
Quarters: 21-20, 34-44, 52-60, 77-76.