San Miguel weathered a late Magnolia revival to win 87 to 81 on Friday at the Ynares Center and remain unblemished in the PBA Season 47 Philippine Cup in Antipolo.
In the fourth quarter, the Beermen relied on Mo Tautuaa and June Mar Fajardo to hold off a tenacious Hotshots team and earn their third straight victory.
Vic Manuel and Chris Ross, who both suffered right knee injuries late in the second quarter, were also injured for SMB.
Meanwhile, Chris Ross wishes for the best while preparing for the worst.
Manuel injured his calf during practice for San Miguel, which he appeared to aggravate in the first quarter. He never came back.
“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,” San Miguel coach Leo Austria stated.
Tautuaa had 19 points and five rebounds, while Fajardo had 14 points and five rebounds. With 3:38 left, the two big men collaborated for a 6-0 run that changed a 73 to 72 edge into a 79 to 72 lead.
Magnolia, on the other hand, was far from over, as they mounted a late comeback led by Mark Barroca, whose 54-second jumper trimmed the score to two points.
San Miguel maintained its cool as both Jericho Cruz and Fajardo hit free throws to get the Beermen to the final line.
Barroca led the Hotshots with 25 points, but they fell to 1-3 as leading scorer Paul Lee sat out due to a back ailment.
Summary of Scores
• San Miguel scores 87 – Tautuaa 19, Perez 15, Fajardo 14, Lassiter 10, Cruz 10, Brondial 10, Ross 6, Enciso 2, Manuel 1, Pessumal 0.
• Magnolia scored 81 – Barroca 25, Sangalang 16, Wong 11, Dionisio 8, Jalalon 5, Dela Rosa 5, Abueva 4, Corpuz 3, Ahanmisi 2, Laput 2, Brill 0, Zaldivar 0, Escoto 0.
Scores per Quarters: 22 to 25; 35 to 42; 60 to 63; 87 to 81.