Seventh heaven as Beermen survive ROS in overtime

Paul Lintag on Jan 13, 2017 09:50 PM
Seventh heaven as Beermen survive ROS in overtime
CLUTCH MAN. Alex Cabagnot's fourth-quarter heroics help San Miguel Beer survive Rain or Shine in a wild overtime affair.

After an unusual blunder that almost cost them the game, San Miguel Beer flashed some major championship composure to best Rain or Shine in a battle of the top-2 teams in the 2017 PBA Philippine Cup.

Given new life in overtime, the two-time defending champion Beermen won a seventh straight game after escaping the Elasto Painters, 107-101, Friday at the MOA Arena.

Down two in regulation, San Miguel committed a crucial turnover in the last 10 seconds after Chris Ross failed to call a timeout before making a bad pass.

Fortunately, Ross more than made up for his mistake in the very next Rain or Shine possession as the reigning Defensive Player of the Year swiped the ball from Beau Belga. The loose ball was recovered by Alex Cabagnot who promptly called for time with five seconds to go.

Cabagnot then buriied the game-tying jumper over Jeff Chan to force extra time tied at 96-all. Come OT, three-time Most Valuable Player June Mar Fajardo went to work for SMB, giving the champs a league-best 8-1 record.

Fajardo finished with 25 points, 15 in the fourth quarter and overtime, to go along with 17 rebounds. RR garcia and Arwind Santos dropped 17 each for the champs while Cabagnot and Marcio Lassiter scored 14 apiece.

"Medyo swerte kami, I think it's their game. Unfortunately for them, Alex [Cabagnot] had something in mind," head coach Leo Austria said.

"Well prepared yung Rain or Shine, they knew what to do against us. But our players refused to lose," he added.

Engaged in basically a slugfest, the Elasto Painters got some breathing room in the fourth quarter after taking an 88-81 lead. After the Beermen countered to tie the game at 90-all, Rain or Shine went ahead by six after two booming triples from Chris Tiu and Belga with 2:42 to go before San Miguel clawed its way back to force overtime.

Belga and Tiu led eight ROS players with at least eight points by dropping 14 and 13 markers respectively. Jeff Chan added 11 for the now 5-3 Elasto Painters.


The scores:

SAN MIGUEL 107 - Fajardo 25, Santos 17, Garcia 17, Lassiter 14, Cabagnot 14, De Ocampo 12, Ross 4, Espinas 4, Tubid 0.

RAIN OR SHINE 101 - Belga 14, Tiu 13, Chan 11, Ponferada 9, Cruz 9, Ahanmisi 9, Maiquez 8, Washington 8, Norwood 6, Tolomia 4, Trollano 4, Yap 3, Matias 3. 

Quarterscores: 32-28, 56-49, 71-75, 96-96, 107-101



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