May 20, 2024

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San Miguel keeps a clean record with 98-91 victory over Magnolia Hotshots

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PERFECT RECORD. Philippine Cup leader San Miguel Beermen secure a 98-91 win over the Magnolia Hotshots to retain their unblemished record in the PBA Season 48 Philippine Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum on Friday night, April 26. PBA PHOTO

The San Miguel Beermen once again proved their mettle by securing a crucial win against the Magnolia Hotshots, 98-91, maintaining their unblemished record, and clinching a coveted twice-to-beat advantage in the PBA Season 48 Philippine Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum on Friday night, April 26.

The game began with San Miguel asserting their dominance early, establishing a commanding lead that at one point reached 20 points. Led by the explosive scoring of CJ Perez, whose 25-point performance was highlighted by a critical three-pointer in the closing moments, and the unexpected offensive burst from veteran Chris Ross, who notched a conference-high 15 points, including crucial triples down the stretch, the Beermen appeared poised for a comfortable victory.

However, Magnolia, known for their tenacity and defensive prowess, refused to back down. Despite the absence of key playmaker Jio Jalalon due to injury, the Hotshots rallied ferociously in the second half, chipping away at San Miguel’s lead with an impressive offensive display led by Paul Lee’s sharpshooting. Lee, who finished with 23 points fueled by a barrage of nine three-pointers, spearheaded Magnolia’s comeback bid alongside Aris Dionisio and Ian Sangalang.

Magnolia’s surge threatened to undo San Miguel’s hard-earned advantage. Yet, in a testament to their championship pedigree and composure under pressure, the Beermen weathered the storm. Marcio Lassiter, with all his 12 points coming from beyond the arc, and Mo Tautuaa, who contributed 10 points, provided crucial support alongside the efforts of Perez and Ross.

With this victory, San Miguel not only extended their winning streak to an impressive eight games but also secured the all-important twice-to-beat advantage heading into the playoffs. Coach Jorge Gallent and his squad have set their sights on reclaiming the championship throne, drawing inspiration from their storied franchise history and the legacy of greatness embodied by June Mar Fajardo, whose impact extends far beyond the box score.

Meanwhile, Magnolia, despite falling short in this showdown, showcased their resilience and determination. The Hotshots remain a formidable contender in the Philippine Cup race, poised to bounce back stronger as they gear up for the challenges ahead.

As the PBA Season 48 continues to unfold, one thing is certain: the San Miguel Beermen are a force to be reckoned with, their sights firmly set on maintaining their unbeaten streak and adding another chapter to their storied legacy in Philippine basketball.

The boxscores:

San Miguel 98 – Perez 25, Ross 15, Lassiter 12, Tautuaa 10, Fajardo 9, Brondial 9, Cruz 9, Romeo 6, Trollano 3, Manuel 0.

Magnolia 91– Lee 23, Dionisio 22, Sangalang 17, Mendoza 8, Barroca 9, Laput 6, Tratter 5,Dela Rosa 1, Escoto 0, Balanza 0, Eriobu 0, Abueva 0. 

Quarterscores: 24-11, 51-40, 70-64, 98-91

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