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Big Game James: Yap shines in overtime to overcome slumping Beermen

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Squandering their huge lead during regulation, James Yap and the rest of the Purefoods Star Hotshots had enough firepower to notch a win against the cellar-dwelling San Miguel squad 113-105 in overtime held at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

The big frontcourt duo of Arizona Reid and Junemar Fajardo covered the paint both offensively and defensively, as Purefoods had a hard time making their layups and makeable point-blank hits early on. This enabled San Miguel to cruise on the other end, especially in their transition play. Chris Lutz made a stepback 15-footer to double the Hotshots production early, 16-8 in favor of the Beermen.

The zone also worked for San Miguel, as Alex Cabagnot played interceptor in the passing lanes. The defense stood tall, and held Purefoods to a tough shooting clip in the first 12 minutes. In the second period, Arizona Reid punched in a triple to give SMB a 9-point lead, but Purefoods’ rampage started afterwards. Pingris scored his first basket to cap off a 9-0 run and tie things up anew at 31.

With Denzel Bowles providing the offense both on scoring and dishing out assists to his teammates, he anchored the third quarter fury for Purefoods, as they built a double-digit spread against the rattled Beermen squad.

Fast forward to the final period, the lead ballooned to as high as 17 on a PJ Simon driving baseline layup shot. With the starters of Purefoods taking a breather, the San Miguel five initiated their comeback by making the necessary free throws. Sensing a rally, Purefoods called for a timeout, but Pingris failed to convert on their end, leading to a Marcio Lassiter trey on the other.

With their lead sliced down to seven, Joe Devance scored on a big putback to stop the scoring drought for the Hotshots. Alex Mallari also drained in two huge three pointers to reinstall a 95-87 separation against San Miguel.

Quick to respond were the Beermen, as they romped up a very quick 10-0 run late to tie things up at 95. Lassiter was responsible for eight markers during the run, including two swishes from downtown. The two imports exchanged baskets to make it 98-98. After a stop by San Miguel, they had a chance to win it, but Lassiter’s outlet pass was thwarted, giving Purefoods their own crack to win it.

After a quick timeout, a James Yap stepback jumper from the corner came up short. Bowles follow up attempt also missed, extending the match to overtime. Come the extra session, Yap made up for the miss during regulation as he caught fire with two triples to give them the lead against San Miguel. With defense clamping on Yap, he found an open Mark Pingris underneath for an easy deuce that served as the dagger of the game. The Beermen, on the other hand had a hard time converting on their end.

The scores:

Purefoods (113) – Bowles 35, Mallari 17, Pingris 15, Yap 15, Simon 9, Barroca 9, Devance 6, Maliksi 4, Taha 3, Melton 0, Reavis 0, Pennisi 0.

San Miguel (105) – Reid 23, Lassiter 21, Ross 15, Fajardo 14, Lutz 11, Kramer 8, Cabagnot 7, Santos 3, Reyes 2, Semerad 1, Tubid 0.

Quarters: 15-22, 42-39, 76-66, 98-98, 113-105

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