San Miguel outlasts Ginebra, stays as league-topper

 

The Two time defending champion San Miguel pushed its winning streak to 6th after surviving Ginebra Gin Kings, 72-70 in a neck-to-neck low-scoring match in the PBA Philippines Cup 2017 on Sunday at the Big Dome.

After securing a place for quarterfinals just two days ago, the Beermen headed towards twice-to-beat advantage in the quarterfinals.

Arwind Santos, the Most Valuable Player for 2013 PBA smashed three critical rebounds in the clutch to cement SMB’s win and keep them on top at 7-1.

San Miguel were 10-points deficit, 72-62, with 2.25 remaining, just when the veteran guard LA Tenorio brought Gin Kings within two late. With just 11 seconds to go, the Ginebra had the last chance to tie or win after Marcio Lassiter missed two vital free throws but Tenorio’s floater wasn’t sufficient against Arwind Santos’s defends.

Coach Leo Austria said –

“We knew from the start that this will be a tight game. The energy has gone down since last game against Blackwater and coming off the break. Buti na lang, may konti pang laman na Petron yung gas tank ng players,”

Santos finished with 10 points and 12 rebounds, while Cabagnot top scored with 16 markers and 3 rebounds, also June Mar Fajardo added 9 points and 11 rebounds.

Representing the team as defending one, Cabagnot said –

“I think playing defense is always been part of our forte, I want to say. It’s one of the things we do well with three of the best defensive players in Chris Ross, June Mar (Fajardo), and Arwind (Santos) out there,

Japeth Aguilar top scored Ginebra with 17 points and 11 boards, while Sol Mercado added 11 markers and six rebounds in the loss. The team dropped to 9th place with their 3-4 slate.

The scores:

SAN MIGUEL 72 – Cabagnot 16, Tubid 12, Santos 10, Fajardo 9, Lassiter 7, Espinas 7, De Ocampo 5, Ross 4, Garcia 2, Heruela 0.

GINEBRA 70 – Aguilar 17, Mercado 11, Tenorio 8, Devance 7, Ferrer 7, Thompson 6, Cruz 6, Ellis 2, Mariano 2, Marcelo 2, Caguioa 2.

Quarters: 15-17, 32-31, 53-49, 72-70.