PBA: San Miguel nips TNT to boost playoff bonus chances | Inquirer Sports

PBA: San Miguel nips TNT to boost playoff bonus chances

/ 09:16 PM December 17, 2023

San Miguel Beermen import Ivan Aska.

San Miguel Beermen import Ivan Aska. –PBA IMAGES

ANTIPOLO –San Miguel Beer pulled out stops down the stretch on Sunday night to take down TNT, 98-93, and gain an inside track in the race for playoff protection in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup.

Ivan Aska was big in his final game for the Beermen, delivering 25 points and nine rebounds and hitting the key baskets the club needed to run away with the victory at Ynares Center here.

“Everybody gave their hearts out, especially Ivan. He didn’t just give a hundred percent today, he gave a 110,” said head coach Jorge Gallent whose side improved to 5-4 (win-loss) for a share of the No. 4 spot in the standings.

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CJ Perez was just as key, nailing a tough fadeaway in the final 1:51 that gave San Miguel the lead and paved the way for a fitting end to Aska’s swan song. The former scoring champion wound up with 20 points.

“Since I got here, that’s my motivation: Give it all I’ve got. I just came and did my job,” said the Virgin Islander-Puerto Rican reinforcement, who is set to be replaced by American Bennie Boatwright in a team move set to address the absence of cornerstone June Mar Fajardo.

Calvin Oftana had 27 points and 13 rebounds while import Rondae Hollis-Jefferson chipped in 26 and 15 for TNT, which saw its two-game winning streak end.

The Tropang Giga thus dropped to 4-4 for the 6th place in the standings.

San Miguel plays No. 2 Phoenix Super LPG in a week while TNT takes on defending champion Barangay Ginebra on Christmas Day.

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TAGS: PBA Commissioner's Cup

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