San Miguel averted a major collapse and held on to defeat Brgy. Ginebra, 102-99, in the elimination round of the PBA Season 47 Governors’ Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City.
Cameron Clark scored off an assist by Simon Enciso to seal the deal after the Gin Kings came tantalizingly close, 100-99, as a result of a steal and score by Scottie Thompson with the game clock down to the final 28.7 seconds.
The victory enabled the Beermen to improve to 7-1 and stay on top of the team standings along with TNT Tropang Giga. Both teams carry identical win-loss cards and are already assured of a spot in the next round. The Gin Kings, on the other hand, absorbed their second straight loss after opening the season-ending conference on a 3-game winning run.
Clark came through with another exceptional performance and paced the league’s winningest franchise with 35 points built on 14-of-22 shooting to go with 10 rebounds, 2 assists and a block in 39 minutes of playing time.
“Ginebra is tough. It’s a never-say-die team, and it’s well-coached. For us to win, we have to play 48 minutes of basketball and not give them a chance to take advantage of our lapses,” said SMB head coach Jorge Gallent during the post-game presser.
CJ Perez added 20 points while June Mar Fajardo contributed 12 markers, 18 boards, 3 steals and a block. Vic Manuel and Marcio Lassiter chipped in 10 and 8 points, respectively while Enciso finished with 6 points and a team-high 8 assists.
Christian Standhardinger led the defending champions with a statline of 29 points, 10 rebounds, 7 assists and a block in 42 minutes of action. Justin Brownlee had 21 points, 10 boards, 9 assists, 2 blocks and a game-high 5 turnovers while Jeremiah Gray, Thompson and Jamie Malonzo scored 14, 13 and 9 markers, respectively.
The Gin Kings will try to arrest a 2-game slide when they take on the slipping Blackwater Bossing on Sunday, February 19, 4:30pm at the PhilSports Arena in Pasig City.
San Miguel 102 – Clark 35, Perez 20, Fajardo 12, Manuel 10, Lassiter 8, Enciso 6, Cruz 5, Brondial 4, Ross 2, Bulanadi 0, Tautuaa 0.
Brgy. Ginebra 99 – Standhardinger 29, Brownlee 21, Gray 14, Thompson 13, Malonzo 9, Pringle 6, Pinto 6, Mariano 1, Tenorio 0.
Quarterscores: 24-21, 50-47, 82-72, 102-99.