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San Miguel survives late Ginebra fightback to win Game 4

Arwind Santos and San Miguel Beermen were 11 of 20 from 3 points territory

Arwind Santos and San Miguel were 11 of 20 from 3-point territory in the first half of Game 4, compared to Ginebra’s 0 of 5 clip. Courtesy of the PBA Media Bureau

After shooting lights out in Game 4 on Friday, San Miguel heads to the weekend ready to close out this best-of-7 championship series.

June Mar Fajardo scored 20 points and pulled down 13 rebounds, and Marcio Lassiter added 20 points as San Miguel weathered a late rally by Barangay Ginebra to win 94-85 in the PBA Philippine Cup finals at Araneta Coliseum.

Up 3-1, San Miguel can claim the title at Araneta Coliseum on Sunday.

The Beermen were off to the races, unloading 20 points and limiting Ginebra to just 2 in the game’s first 5 minutes.

The defending champions’ lead ballooned to as many as 26, when Fajardo’s basket made it 64-38 early in the 3rd quarter.

“The key is to have a good start. Many things can happen especially in our offense. Nagkaroon sila ng kumpyansang tumira sa labas,” San Miguel coach Leo Austria said.

“Hindi lang offense namin, yung defense din namin nag-work din. I think that’s the key.”

The Beermen finished the first half shooting 11 of 20 from 3-point territory, compared to Ginebra, which missed all 5 of its attempts from the same distance.

Ginebra went 9 straight misses before finally making a 3-pointer 4 minutes into the 3rd quarter, courtesy of Tenorio.
Overall, the Gin Kings shot 22% (5 of 22) from behind the arc, while the Beermen converted 42% (15 of 35).

Ginebra being Ginebra, coach Tim Cone and co. went on never-say-die mode in the 2nd half to make things interesting.

Kevin Ferrer’s triple closed the gap to 82-72 3 minutes into the 4th, but Ginebra couldn’t come within single digits until LA Tenorio’s triple made it 92-83 with 2 minutes left in the game.

A couple of bad passes — one by Joe Devance that was intercepted and another by Mark Caguioa that he threw to nobody and went of bounds — that led to turnovers eventually doomed Ginebra.

Devance, who was visibly limping, scored 22 points to lead the Gin Kings, 14 of them coming in the 3rd quarter that enabled his team to shrink the deficit to 76-63.

Chris Ross contributed 17 points and 9 assists, with 5 3-pointers for San Miguel.

Tenorio and Japeth Aguilar chipped in 12 points each, while Scottie Thompson had 7 points, 10 rebounds and 7 assists for Ginebra.

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