San Miguel holds off Magnolia for third win in a row in PBA Philippine Cup

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THE San Miguel Beermen held off a furious rally by Magnolia down the stretch to pull off an 87-81 win in the PBA Season 47 Philippine Cup on Friday night at the Ynares Center.

With Magnolia breathing down their necks in the final stanza, the Beermen turned to their frontcourt of duo of Cebuano June Mar Fajardo and Moala Tautuaa to turn the Hotshots away and snatch their win in a row.

The win, though, came at a cost as Chris Ross and Vic Manuel were not able to finish the match due to injuries with the former suffering a knee injury while the latter reaggravated a calf injury.

“We were able to survive against a very cohesive, energetic team. I’m so happy that even though June Mar didn’t play well in the first half because they had a good game plan against him, in the end, we shot important baskets,” shared San Miguel head coach Leo Austria.

Tautuaa had 19 points and five rebounds while Fajardo added 14 markers and six boards. More importantly, the two big men sparked a 6-0 run that gave them a 79-72 lead with over three minutes remaining in the match.

Magnolia, though, kept on coming as Mark Barroca canned a jumper that sliced the deficit to just two, 83-81, with 54 ticks remaining. However, San Miguel was not fazed as Jericho Cruz and Fajardo made a free-throw each while CJ Perez scored on a slam dunk to put away Magnolia.

Perez was also instrumental in the win as he tallied 15 points, 12 rebounds, and five assists. Marcio Lassiter, Rodney Brondial, and Cruz added 10 points apiece.

Barroca led the Hotshots with 25 points, who fell to 1-3.

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