PBA Finals: San Miguel turns back Magnolia for 1-0 lead

San Miguel turns back Magnolia to get an early lead in PBA Finals

/ 10:43 PM February 02, 2024

PBA Finals San Miguel Beermen Magnolia Hotshots

San Miguel Beermen’s Bennie Boatwright in the PBA Finals Game 1 against the Magnolia Hotshots. –MARLO CUETO/INQUIRER.net

MANILA, Philippines–San Miguel got to work early on and kept it together the rest of the way for a 103-95 victory in Game 1 of the PBA Commissioner’s Cup Finals on Friday night.

The Beermen used a strong second period to build a 61-44 cushion going into the intermission before playing with steely nerves just when the Hotshots threatened down the stretch, ultimately tabbing the first victory in their best-of-seven duel.

Jorge Gallent was sighing in relief after the series opener at Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.

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READ: Where to watch the PBA Finals on TV, streaming

“When you play a tough team like Magnolia, you have to play 48 minutes of basketball. If you don’t, this is what is going to happen. It’s just good we didn’t panic. That’s the main thing. This bunch of players, they know how to win. Lucky for me,” he said.

The Hotshots pulled within five, 100-95, with 1:13 remaining after trailing by as many as 20 points. But that last-ditch effort ran into CJ Perez, who made key plays down the stretch.

Bennie Boatwright Jr. and June Mar Fajardo were big again for San Miguel, both finishing with a double-double. The American import had 28 points and 15 rebounds while the reigning Most Valuable Player with 11 and 11.

READ: SCHEDULE: San Miguel vs Magnolia PBA Finals

Perez finished with 19 points and three steals, including the last block that helped seal the deal for the Beermen, who will shoot for a repeat in the return match set this Sunday also at the bayside venue.

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Marcio Lassiter accounted for 16 points, his four greasing the Beermen’s second-quarter pullaway, and had the perennial powerhouse outscoring their corporate sibling 41 to 20.

Import Tyler Bey had 26 points and 15 rebounds while Mark Barroca pumped in 16 more off the bench. Joseph Eriobu tossed eight to spark the Hotshots’ rally before being doused by Perez, a contender for the Best Player of the Conference award.

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San Miguel vs Magnolia Game 1Scores

SAN MIGUEL 103 – Boatwright 28, Perez 19, Lassiter 16, Fajardo 11, Trollano 10, Cruz 8, Romeo 5, Teng 4, Ross 2, Enciso 0, Tautuaa 0, Brondial 0.

MAGNOLIA 95 – Bey 26, Barroca 16, Jalalon 8, Sangalang 8, Dionisio 8, Eriobu 7, Abueva 6, Lee 6, Tratter 5, Escoto 3, Laput 2, Mendoza 0, Dela Rosa 0, Reavis 0.

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Quarterscores: 20-24, 61-44, 85-72, 103-95.

TAGS: PBA Commissioner's Cup, PBA Finals, San Miguel Beermen

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