San Miguel fights off Phoenix to force 3-way tie for third place

Paul Lintag on Sep 20, 2017 09:22 PM
San Miguel fights off Phoenix to force 3-way tie for third
San Miguel moved to 7-3 after 10 games, joining TNT and NLEX with identical marks in the standings.

ANTIPOLO --- San Miguel's playoff drive almost suffered a costly breakdown.

The key word here is "almost."

The Beermen had to scrape their way past Phoenix, 109-107, Wednesday at the Ynares Center here, forcing a three-way tie for third place in the 2017 PBA Governors' Cup.

San Miguel moved to 7-3 after 10 games, joining TNT and NLEX with identical marks in the standings.

Engaging the also-ran Fuel Masters in a back-and-forth affair, the Beermen had to come back from a 13-point deficit early in the second quarter to take control for almost the rest of the way.

However, Phoenix would rally one final time in the fourth period led by rookie Joseph Eriobu, forcing a 100-all deadlock with just about two minutes remaining.

Fortunately, import Terrence Watson would come to the rescue for the Beermen, hitting back-to-back shots to restore a four-point lead before the local crew finished the job from the stripe.

"It's really hard to win the game especially when you go up against someone who has nothing to lose," head coac Leo Austria said.

Phoenix came in with a 2-9 record and has lost its last nine games.

"Nandun pride nila and they want to win. They want to arrest the game from the start. I told my players before that this is not an easy game, I'm happy to see they players step up," Austria added.

Watson led the Grand Slam-seeking Beermen with 26 points and 11 rebounds and all his points during the final period came during that crucial stretch to regain the lead for San Miguel.

June Mar Fajardo and Alex Cabagnot were the top locals for SMB, finishing with 24 points apiece. The Kraken also had 17 rebounds while Cabagnot grabbed 13 boards and dished out six assists.

Import Brandon Brown was the high man for Phoenix with 30 points while Jeff Chan added 18 in a losing effort.

 

The scores:

SAN MIGUEL 109 - Watson 26, Fajardo 24, Cabagnot 24, Santos 15, Lassiter 13, Rosser 4, Espinas 3, Ross 0, Tubid 0.

PHOENIX 107 - Brown 30, Chan 18, Intal 12, Eriobu 10, Alolino 9, W.WIlson 8, Dehesa 7, Wright 5, Lanete 4, Kramer 2, Jazul 2, J. Wilson 0, Hayes 0, Miranda 0, Ababou 0.

Quarters: 23-28, 56-52, 86-77, 109-107.

 


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