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Sports

Beermen repel Tropang Giga in thriller

Ralph Edwin Villanueva - Philstar.com
Beermen repel Tropang Giga in thriller
San Miguel's June Mar Fajardo
PBA Images

MANILA, Philippines -- Defending champions San Miguel Beermen survived a close battle against rivals TNT Tropang Giga, 91-89, in a thrilling PBA Philippine Cup contest Sunday at the Ynares Center in Antipolo.

Reigning Most Valuable Player June Mar Fajardo led San Miguel with a big double-double of 15 points and 17 rebounds in about 33 minutes off the bench.

The rematch of the last All-Filipino conference finals did not disappoint as the game went down to a final shot.

TNT erased a 15-point lead against the Beermen after a layup by Kim Aurin tied the game up at 72 early on in the fourth quarter.

The Beermen, however, punched in a 14-6 run to grab an insurmountable 86-78 lead with 5:35 to go.

Back-to-back 3-pointers by Jayson Castro and RR Pogoy cut the lead to two anew, 86-84, with 4:44 left.

Don Trollano then answered with a trey of his own, 89-84.

The game went down the wire, with San Miguel clinging to a two-point lead, 90-88, with 1:09 to go with a split from the line by Kelly Williams.

Williams was fouled once again with 25 seconds remaining. He made his first free throw and missed the second to hand San Miguel a precious one-point lead.

On the other end, Jericho Cruz split from the line, keeping a window of opportunity open for TNT, 91-89, with 115 seconds left.

The Tropang Giga's fate was on the hands of Jayson Castro, as he made his move against Chris Ross.

Ross' defense was tough, forcing Castro to kick the ball out to Brandon Ganuelas-Rosser, who popped after a pick.

The big man's 3-pointer, however, failed to make the mark at the buzzer.
Cruz, Trollano and Marcio Lassiter all had 12 points each for San Miguel.

Castro led TNT with 20 points, six assists and four rebounds. Pogoy added 15 markers and seven boards off the bench.

San Miguel is going into the All-Star break with a 2-0 record, while TNT dropped to 2-2.

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SAN MIGUEL BEERMEN

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