PBA: Unbeaten San Miguel clips Magnolia for share of lead | Inquirer Sports
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PBA: Unbeaten San Miguel clips Magnolia for share of lead

/ 07:16 PM February 05, 2023
Marcio Lassiter San Miguel Beermen PBA

Marcio Lassiter. PBA IMAGES

MANILA, Philippines-Facing a determined enemy hell-bent on getting out of a rut, San Miguel turned to its old reliables for a narrow 100-98 victory over Magnolia, extending its winning ways in the PBA Governor’s Cup on Sunday night.

Marcio Lassiter had 18 points while cornerstone June Mar Fajardo chipped in 16 and 10 rebounds in the tight contest at Smart Araneta Coliseum in Cubao as the Beermen rose to 4-0 for a share of the conference lead.

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“This was a test for us. Magnolia’s a very organized team, so this [win] was a big game for us as it [gives us an idea] where we stand in this league,” said coach Jorge Gallent, whose charges joined Converge and NLEX as early pacesetters of the third conference.

Import Cameron Clark led the way with 19 points and 10 rebounds, while fellow starters CJ Perez and Simon Enciso chipped in twin-digit scores rounded out by Jericho Cruz’s 13 off the bench.

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“Everybody stepped up—whomever I put in the game. They give their 110 percent even if they know that they’d only play five to seven minutes,” added Gallent.

Magnolia’s trio of Paul Lee, Jio Jalalon, and Mark Barroca kept their sister team within arm’s reach late in the game. They all had at least 13 points in the stand.

Calvin Abueva brought Magnolia to within two, 100-98, with 18 ticks remaining.

Lee’s triple would’ve won it for the Hotshots, but with San Miguel defenders denying him a clear look, the defensive club had no choice but to settle for a third straight loss in as many games.

Erik McCree only had 13 points and eight rebounds in what is shaping up as his last game with Magnolia.

San Miguel shoots for a fifth-straight win against 3-1 Meralco this Thursday, while Magnolia will try to stop the bleeding against 1-4 Phoenix this Friday.

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