PBA Finals: San Miguel holds off Magnolia for 3-2 lead

PBA Finals: San Miguel holds off Magnolia for 3-2 lead

/ 09:09 PM February 11, 2024

Jericho Cruz San Miguel vs Magnolia PBA Finals

San Miguel Beer guard Jericho Cruz celebrates during Game 5 of the PBA Commissioner’s Cup Finals against Magnolia.–MARLO CUETO/INQUIRER.net

MANILA, Philippines–San Miguel flaunted its poise all Sunday night to weather Magnolia, 108-98, taking control of the PBA Commissioner’s Cup championship series three games to two.

Jericho Cruz hit eight triples and matched his career-best 30 points to lead all of the Beermen in the wire-to-wire victory at Smart Araneta Coliseum in Cubao, Quezon City.

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“We were just composed in the final quarter. We made certain mistakes but we just made up for them in the next plays,” said head coach Jorge Gallent, whose squad could wrap the best-of-seven series showdown and claim the franchise’s 29th title overall on Wednesday at the same venue.

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“My focus was to play well in this game. After tonight, it’s the next game,” said Cruz, who was suspended in Game 3 and struggled in Game 4.

June Mar Fajardo San Miguel Beer vs Magnolia PBA Finals

San Miguel Beer center June Mar Fajardo during Game 5 of the PBA Commissioner’s Cup Finals against Magnolia. –MARLO CUETO/INQUIRER.net

The Hotshots threatened late behind Ian Sangalang and import Tyler Bey, but their efforts were dashed by Best Player of the Conference CJ Perez, who sealed the victory with a dunk on the break.

Import Bennie Boatwright Jr. had 21 points, while June Mar Fajardo chipped in 18 more to go with 15 rebounds. Simon Enciso turned in his finest scoring output after missing a big chunk of the tournament with 15 as Don Trollano rounded out the twin-digit scorers with 10.

Bey put up 34 points for Magnolia, while Jio Jalalon, Ian Sangalang, and Paul Lee all delivered at least 12 points each in the losing effort.

The Scores:

SAN MIGUEL 108 – Cruz 30, Boatwright 21, Fajardo 18, Enciso 15, Trollano 10, Perez 8, Lassiter 2, Tautuaa 2, Ross 2, Brondial 0.

MAGNOLIA 98 – Bey 34, Jalalon 17, Sangalang 15, Lee 12, Dionisio 6, Abueva 5, Barroca 4, Dela Rosa 3, Laput 2, Reavis 0, Tratter 0.

Quarterscores: 25-18, 48-41, 76-68, 108-98.

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TAGS: Jericho Cruz, Magnolia Hotshots, PBA Finals, San Miguel Beermen

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