PBA: Jericho Cruz lights up Magnolia as San Miguel gets closer to the Comm’s Cup

Feb 12, 2024

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After winning 108-98 in Game 5 on Sunday at the SMART Araneta Coliseum, San Miguel took a step closer to winning the PBA Season 48 Commissioner’s Cup.

With 51.9 seconds remaining in the game, Jericho Cruz made his final 3-pointer of the game to tie the score at 99-96, putting an end to the Hotshots’ rally that had seen them trail by 14 points early in the fourth quarter.

After Chris Ross and CJ Perez stole the ball and Bennie Boatwright made free throws, the opponent was so disappointed that some of them went straight to the dugout before the final buzzer rang.

Now, the proud team will try to win Game 6 on Wednesday at 7:30, still at the Big Dome, to claim the championship—its second in four conferences, if ever.

Boatwright scored 21 points in the end and shot an incredible 8 of 8 from the free-throw line. Despite shooting just 1 of 6 from long, he still hasn’t found his shooting form in the field. In addition, the 27-year-old had four assists and six rebounds.

June Mar Fajardo disobeyed the doctor’s orders to rest his sore calf and recorded another double-double of 18 points and 15 rebounds.

Simon Enciso, who finished with 15 points after going 5-of-9 from beyond the arc, provided the unexpected spark.

According to chief statistician Fidel Mangonon III, Don Trollano scored ten points for San Miguel, who had gone 8-0 in the previous twenty-five years when leading 3-2 in the PBA Finals.

The work of Tyler Bey, who led Magnolia with 34 points and eight rebounds, was, however, wasted by the defeat.

Jio Jalalon recorded a line of 17-5-4. The other locals attempted to step up on a night when experienced guard Mark Barroca was restricted to only four points on 2-of-7 shooting from the field. Ian Sangalang led the way with 15 points, while Paul Lee chipped in with 12.

The Scores

San Miguel 108 – Cruz 30, Boatwright 21, Fajardo 18, Enciso 15, Trollano 10, Perez 8, Lassiter 2, Tautuaa 2, Ross 2, Brondial 0.

Magnolia 98 – Bey 34, Jalalon 17, Sangalang 15, Lee 12, Dionisio 6, Abueva 5, Barroca 4, Dela Rosa 3, Laput 2, Reavis 0, Tratter 0.

Quarter scores: 25-18, 48-41, 76-68, 108-98

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