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Beermen foil Hotshots comeback, knot PBA Finals at 1-1

10:38 PM March 25, 2018

San Miguel made sure there were no comebacks this time and thwarted Magnolia, 92-77, to even up the 2018 PBA Philippine Cup Finals to one game apiece Sunday at Mall of Asia Arena.

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Unlike in Game 1 where it suffered a 20-point meltdown, the Beermen knew better this time and stopped the Hotshots when they threatened to take over again after an 11-0 run early in the fourth.

Magnolia managed to trim the lead down to seven, 75-68, on a Robbie Herndon undergoal stab at the 8:26 mark but the Beermen, which led by as much as 71-50 in the third, restored order with a 10-0 blast capped off by a three from Marcio Lassiter to push the lead to 85-68 with 4:49 to play.

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“I think we’ve learned our lesson from the last game,” said coach Leo Austria. “It’s almost the same thing, we’re able to lead by 21, but they fought back. But I have to give credit to the players because I really saw that they didn’t want to lose and they did not give in.”

Arwind Santos set the tone for the Beermen with 24 points, eight rebounds and two blocks, while Marcio Lassiter shot 4-of-7 from threes to finish with 16 markers.

Alex Cabagnot added 15 points, eight dimes and five boards, June Mar Fajardo contributed 12 markers, 13 rebounds, and three blocks, and Brian Heruela stepped up with his 10 points for San Miguel.

Game 3 is on Easter Sunday at Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Mark Barroca paced Magnolia with 18 points, five rebounds, and three assists, while Paul Lee got 12 markers, three dimes, and two boards in the defeat.

The Scores:

SAN MIGUEL 92 — Santos 24, Lassiter 16, Cabagnot 15, Fajardo 12, Heruela 10, Ganuelas-Rosser 6, Ross 5, Mamaril 4, De Ocampo 0, Vigil 0.

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MAGNOLIA 77 — Barroca 18, Lee 13, Sangalang 11, Dela Rosa 7, Ramos 7, Jalalon 6, Pascual 4, Reavis 4, Brondial 3, Herndon 2, Simon 2, Mendoza 0.

Quarters: 19-17, 48-35, 75-57, 92-77.

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