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Beermen parry pesky Bolts, forge PBA title clash with TNT

Luisa Morales - Philstar.com
Beermen parry pesky Bolts, forge PBA title clash with TNT
June Mar Fajardo

MANILA, Philippines — The San Miguel Beermen on Wednesday fended off multiple comeback attempts by the Meralco Bolts to rule their winner-take-all Game Seven, 100-89, and gain entry into the PBA Philippine Cup finals at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

After a hot start saw the Beermen in charge from the get-go, they needed to avoid letting the Bolts back into the contest in varying points of the game.

It was deep in the fourth salvo after Meralco had cut the deficit to 10, 74-84, with 5:23 ticks left, that SMB came out with the dagger courtesy of a Simon Enciso triple in the next possession.

Though the Bolts tried to go back-and-forth, the SMB lead just could not shrink enough as the Beermen held on for the victory.

June Mar Fajardo uncorked a double-double of 29 points and 14 rebounds to pace the Beermen.

CJ Perez added 18 markers, nine assists and four boards.

Marcio Lassiter contributed 16 points as well.

Cliff Hodge led the Bolts in the losing effort with 23 points.

The win gave the Beermen their first finals appearance in the Philippine Cup since 2019.

They face defending champs TNT Tropang Giga in a best-of-seven series for all the marbles.

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