San Miguel nears 4th straight All-Filipino title, squeaks past Magnolia | INQUIRER.net
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San Miguel nears 4th straight All-Filipino title, squeaks past Magnolia

09:40 PM April 04, 2018

Arwind Santos. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.net

One more win.

San Miguel survived a gusty challenge from Magnolia and came away with a gutsy 84-80 win to take a commanding 3-1 lead in the 2018 PBA Philippine Cup Finals series Wednesday at Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Alex Cabagnot was the knight in shining armor for the Beermen with his 27 points, but it was the defense which won them the game as Marcio Lassiter tipped the ball from behind Mark Barroca in the final 9.0 seconds which led to Arwind Santos’s game-sealing freethrows.

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“These players have the heart of champions. They know how to win and how to become winners and I’m thankful for them because they knew what the importance of this game was,” said a relieved coach Leo Austria.

San Miguel shoots for its fourth straight all-Filipino championship on Friday at Mall of Asia Arena.

Lassiter went 4-of-9 from downtown to wound up with 18 markers, four rebounds, and two steals, while Santos got 13 points and 11 rebounds.

June Mar Fajardo, who was named as the Best Player of the Conference before the game, contributed 16 markers, 13 boards, three assists, and three blocks.

San Miguel played catch up with Magnolia in the first half before using an 11-0 tear abridging the third and fourth periods to grab the 71-64 lead.

Ian Sangalang, though, held fort for the Hotshots and strung five straight points in the final two minutes to keep Magnolia in the game, 82-80., with 1:12 on the clock.

“They shackled us and they were able to take the tempo of the game. They want to outrun us and they succeeded,” lamented Austria.

Breaks, though, did not go in favor of the Hotshots as Aldrech Ramos missed an open corner triple before the costly Barroca turnover sealed their fate.

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Sangalang paced Magnolia with 22 points and 11 rebounds, Rome dela Rosa got 15 markers and nine boards, and Barroca chimed in 14 points, nine rebounds, and three steals in the sorry defeat.

The Scores:

SAN MIGUEL 84 — Cabagnot 27, Lassiter 18, Fajardo 16, Santos 13, Ganuelas-Rosser 5, Ross 4, Espinas 1, Heruela 0, Pessumal 0.

MAGNOLIA 80 — Sangalang 22, Dela Rosa 15, Barroca 14, Lee 9, Reavis 6, Simon 5, Jalalon 4, Ramos 3, Pascual 2, Gamalinda 0.

Quarters: 14-20, 45-46, 69-64, 84-80.

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