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Tiebreaker Times

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PBA: San Miguel escapes Rain or Shine to take solo lead


San Miguel added to Rain or Shine’s frustrations, eking out a 99-93 triumph to take the lead in the PBA Philippine Cup, Wednesday night at the SMART Araneta Coliseum.

June Mar Fajardo and CJ Perez joined hands with new guys Jericho Cruz and Rodney Brondial in the fourth quarter to finish off the Elasto Painters on the way to overtaking Ginebra atop the standings with a 5-1 record.

“We’re not able to finish the game as early as the third or the first few minutes of the fourth quarter. But, this game, a tight game, could develop a lot of character. We’re learning how to win tight games,” said coach Leo Austria.

Perez top-billed for SMB with 21 points, four rebounds, and five assists. Brondial and Marcio Lassiter finished with 16 points apiece and combined for 15 rebounds, while Cruz produced 14 markers and five dimes.

Lassiter actually opened the final period with a three-pointer, and his teammates took it from there as the quartet of Brondial, Perez, Cruz, and Fajardo pushed their lead to 11 points, 95-84, with only 2:19 remaining.

The Elasto Painters, though, managed to make it just a five-point game exactly a minute after that, but Cruz struck the dagger with 35.1 seconds left as he scored underneath off a Fajardo find to give his side the 97-90 lead.

Fajardo had a conscious effort on locating his teammates with the defense on him, leading to a career-high seven assists. The league’s only six-time MVP also finished with 10 points, 16 rebounds, and three blocks.

“I’m happy for June Mar dahil navi-visualize niya, nasu-survey niya, that’s why marami siyang magagandang assist, and that is crucial. That’s one thing that’s happening in our team, everybody wants to share the ball,” Austria said.

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San Miguel will try to collect their third straight win when it takes on the slumping NorthPort (2-4) on Saturday, 5:15 p.m. still at the Big Dome.

Jewel Ponferrada led Rain or Shine with 20 points in yet another loss, already their fifth since opening the season with a win against Converge.

The Elasto Painters’ quest for that elusive win continues next Wednesday, July 6, when they take on Meralco (3-2) at 3 p.m. also at Araneta.

The Scores:

San Miguel 99 – Perez 21, Lassiter 16, Brondial 16, Cruz 14, Enciso 12, Fajardo 10, Faundo 4, Pessumal 3, Herndon 2, Zamar 1, Canete 0.

Rain or Shine 93 – Ponferrada 20, Nambatac 18, Torres 16, Caracut 11, Nieto 8, Ildefonso 6, Norwood 5, Santillan 5, Demusis 2, Asistio 2, Belga 0.

Quarterscores: 28-22, 49-45, 73-70, 99-93

All PBA games stream live on GigaPlay. Download it now on Android or IOS.

The second game of each gameday is also live-streamed on SMART Sports.

Written By

Oftentimes on the sidelines. Forever a student of the game. Morayta-bred.


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