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Beermen stay alive, dodge Aces' broom

Chris Ross steps up in Game Four as the San Miguel Beermen avoided sweep. Jonathan Asuncion

MANILA, Philippines -- The San Miguel Beermen rose up from the grave and stayed alive with a gut-wrenching 110-104 Game Four overtime win on Sunday against a turnover-prone Alaska Aces team at the Philsports Arena.

Chris Ross presided over the Beermen's comeback both in regulation and overtime to extend the series after being downed three games to none. 

Ross finished with a near triple-double collecting 11 points, 12 rebounds and nine assists as he outplayed the Aces' backcourt down the stretch.

He drew an offensive foul from Casio at the height of their 12-0 blast that enabled them to erase an 11-point lead by the Aces in the final three minutes of regulation. His two free throws with four seconds left could have iced the game in the regulation but Cyrus Baguio hit a buzzer-beating triple to force overtime.

The Beermen, however, could not be denied coming back from four points down in the extra time with Ross, Alex Cabagnot and Yancy de Ocampo hitting crucial baskets. 

It did not help Alaska that Banchero, who was celebrating his birthday, turned the ball over thrice in the closing seconds closing the door on the Aces' bid to sweep the series. 

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Injured big man June Mar Fajardo lifted the Beermen's spirit as he sat on the bench after receiving his third straight Philippine Cup Bet Player of the Conference award before the tip-off.

 

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