PBA: San Miguel secures top spot, escapes Terrafirma in OT | Inquirer Sports
PBA

PBA: San Miguel secures top spot, escapes Terrafirma in OT

/ 08:07 PM July 14, 2022
June Mar Fajardo with another spectacular showing for San Miguel.

June Mar Fajardo with another spectacular showing for San Miguel. –PBA IMAGES

MANILA, Philippines–Playing a resilient enemy that pretty much just fighting for pride, San Miguel Beer turned to its cornerstone on Thursday night to pull out a 109-108 overtime victory in the 2022 PBA Philippine Cup at Smart Araneta Coliseum in Cubao.

June Mar Fajardo scored nine of the Beermen’s 11 points in overtime—among those, a tough and-one play—to cap an all-around performance that helped the undermanned Beermen rise to 9-1 and clinch the No. 1 spot in the race.

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“Credit to Terrafirma, their game plan was excellent. But it’s not just me who they needed to stop. And I think our game plan was just as good,” said the six-time Most Valuable Player, who finished with 26 points, 10 rebounds, and nine assists.

“We just did what we’ve been doing in the past games: helping one another on defense,” added Jorge Gallent, who was standing in for coach Leo Austria who was shelved due to the league’s health protocols.

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Marcio Lassiter added 23 points while CJ Perez 20 more to plug the holes left by Jericho Cruz and Robbie Herndon—two excellent role players—who were also shelved for precautionary measures.

Terrafirma had a chance to steal the game and upset the vaunted club once again, but Javi Gomez de Liaño, who was playing his finest game after struggling all conference long, missed a layup in the dying moments of the game.

The Gilas cadet finished with 19 points to backstop Eric Camson’s 20. JP Calvo also had 19 while Andreas Cahilig 17. Allen Mina chipped in 13 more as the Dyip stay winless in nine games.

“It really depends. But coming into the quarterfinals, we just have to be ready,” said Gallent of their quarterfinal matchup.

“I think we’re gonna be ready, especially with a Fiba break coming around. After a week or two, everyone will be ready and coach Leo will also be ready by that. Everybody healthy come playoff time is very good for us,” he added.

San Miguel will have a chance to finish eliminations with 10 wins when it plays Meralco this Sunday.

Terrafirma, meanwhile, will continue to try and save face against Rain or Shine this Saturday.

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The Scores(OT):

SAN MIGUEL 109 – Fajardo 26, Lassiter 23, Perez 20, Pessumal 13, Tautuaa 10, Zamar 9, Brondial 6, Canete 2, Enciso 0, Manuel 0

TERRAFIRMA 108 – Camson 20, Calvo 19, Gomez de Liano 19, Cahilig 17, Mina 13, Ramos 8, Gabayni 7, Tiongson 3, Tumalip 2, Enriquez 0, Balagasay 0

QUARTERS: 23-19, 47-43, 74-68, 98-98, 109-108

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TAGS: June Mar Fajardo, San Miguel Beermen, Terrafirma Dyip
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