SMB edges Magnolia to regain top spot

February 04, 2018


MANILA — The San Miguel Beermen bounced back from a loss to sister team Barangay Ginebra last week with a come-from-behind 77-76 squeaker of a victory against another sister team, the Magnolia Hotshots, in the PBA Philippine Cup Sunday night at the Ynares Center in Antipolo City.

Chico Lanete drilled a crucial three-pointer to give the defending champion Beermen a 73-71 lead with 1:34 left. Lanete, playing as a substitute for injured starting shooting guard Alex Cabagnot, finished with 14 points, including four three-pointers in five attempts, along with four rebounds, four assists, and four steals in 22 minutes as a starter.

Their sixth win in seven games lifted the Beermen back to the top solo spot in the standings as the Hotshots’ five-game winning streak came to an end. Magnolia slid to second place with a 6-2 win-loss record.

Magnolia was ahead for most parts of the game, even leading by as much as 16 points, 56-40, in the third quarter as the Hotshots’ stingy defense held the Beermen to a forgettable 31.2 percent shooting.

The two squads fought tooth and nail the entire game, especially in the fourth quarter when the Beermen launched a furious all-out assault.

Four-time MVP June Mar Fajardo had another monster double-double of 19 points and 21 rebounds on top of two blocks plus that crucial assist to Lanete in the endgame. Chris Ross added 15 points, eight rebounds, four assists, and three steals in 38 minutes. Marcio Lassiter and Arwind Santos chipped in 12 and 11 points, respectively.

Mark Barroca paced Magnolia with 21 points, five rebounds, two steals, and one block in 32 minutes that all went down the drain. Ian Sangalang and Justin Melton added 13 and 10 points, respectively.

Alaska 105, GlobalPort 98 (OT)

The Alaska Aces whipped up a furious endgame storm after playing catch-up nearly all game long to get past the GlobalPort Batang Pier, 105-98, in overtime Sunday.

Vic Manuel came off the bench to lead the Aces with 21 points, including four straight points in the extra period to shatter a 96-all deadlock en route to Alaska’s sixth straight victory after a 0-2 start. Manuel also collected five rebounds, two steals, and one assist in 25 minutes of play.

Chris Banchero and JVee Casio added 16 points apiece, while Calvin Abueva celebrated his 30th birthday in “beast mode,” finishing with 12 points, 12 rebounds, three assists, two blocks, and one steal. Jeron Teng added 11 points on top of four rebounds and three assists.

GlobalPort’s Stanley Pringle led all scorers with 28 points, along with eight rebounds, and six assists, against six turnovers. His last basket –a floater-- tied the score at 93-all with eight ticks left to force overtime.

Sean Anthony added 21 points and 14 boards before leaving the game late in the overtime period after twisting his left ankle. Kelly Nabong finished with a double-double 15 points, 12 boards, and four blocks. Despite their strong showing, however, GlobalPort’s top three scorers failed to prevent their team from dropping to a 3-4 card, forcing a tie for sixth to ninth place in the standings with Phoenix, NLEX, and Ginebra.

After falling behind by 13 points, 62-75, in the third period, the Aces finally put their acts together to pull through in the end.

Games Wednesday: TNT KaTropa Texters (4-3) vs. Phoenix Fuel Masters (3-4) and Kia Picanto (1-6) vs. Barangay Ginebra Kings (3-4).

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