January 29, 2023

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SMB STILL ON TOP PBA OF PHILIPPINE CUP

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The San Miguel Beermen ( SMB ) retained its solo lead after surviving past Blackwater Bossing, 110 – 107, via overtime in the PBA Philippine Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum on Sunday, July 10.

Five-time MVP June Mar Fajardo and Mo Tautuaa delivered crucial clutch plays at the crunch. Both players combined for 10 of their 13 points in extension time as the Cebuano star made up for his two bungled free throws that could have won them the game outright near the end of regulation.

June Mar Fajardo

The Beermen duo opened up the overtime with a combined four markers in a 5 – 0 surge to lift them ahead, 102 – 97.

SMB head coach Leo Austria said, ” Ang hirap manalo ( It’s so difficult to win ). ” He knew all along that playing Blackwater would be tough for the Beermen after watching their previous games.

“Blackwater showed some character in the endgame. They played really hard and clever and alam nila ginagawa nila. Maganda ang executions nila ( They played hard and clever and they knew what they were doing. They executed well ). We’re lucky we were able to pull off a win,” the veteran coach said.

Fajardo scored a double – double, finishing off with 25 points on top of his 18 rebounds as teammate Jericho Cruz poured in 25 markers and CJ Perez had 23.

SMB winning streak continues

The Beermen improved to an 8 – 1, win – loss card, stretching its winning streak to five to stay on track of securing one of the top two spots that stakes a win – once edge in the next round.

Blackwater’s loss, however, ended its winning streak to four. The team, which put up a gallant stand from a 21 – point deficit early in the final canto, dropped to 7 – 2.

Dabawenyo Baser Amer’s two – point layup gave Blackwater a two – point advantage, 97 – 95, with only 47 seconds left in the game but Cruz’s baseline jump shot forced another deadlock at 97 – all, the 13th time in the match, barely 37 seconds remaining.

SMB had the opportunity to win it then following Amer’s costly turnover and Brandon Ganuelas – Rosser’s fouling of Fajardo in the final 3.3 seconds.

Rashawn McCarthy canned 22 markers to lead the charge for the Bossing while Rey Suerte scored a career – high 18 and Jayvee Casio made 15.

TNT over Ginebra

In another match, the TNT Tropang Giga cruised through a 106 – 09 victory over Barangay Ginebra, sending their sub coach Richard del Rosario who will join the coaching staff of Gilas Pilipinas seeing action in the FIBA Asia Cup.

RR Pogoy came out big along with Glen Khobuntin who got off from the bench to stage a huge comeback following TNT’s blowout 99 – 115 loss to the Beermen on Thursday, July 7.

RR Pogoy

TNT thus improved to an 8 – 3 card to end the single-round-robin eliminations on a high note.

With Tropang Giga coach Reyes mentoring Gilas Pilipinas in the Asian meet in Jakarta, the team will have eight more games in the elims.

Just like SMB, TNT also sets its eyes on the top two spots.

The TNT coach said, ” We’re going for 9 – 2 but we fell short by one win. We have to be ready for the best-of-three if we don’t make the Top Two, ” said the TNT coach.

Reyes said that since they were defeated by San Miguel by 15, they also wanted to go over 15 points as well. He added that they could quit playing, but every point counts in the current format.

Pogoy sizzled with 30 points with contributions from Mike Williams ( 19 ), Khobuntin ( 16 ), and Kelly Williams ( 12 ).

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