MANILA, Philippines – Alex Cabagnot buried the clutch go-ahead three-pointer as top seed and defending champions San Miguel Beermen squeaked past the TNT KaTropa, 98-94, in the 2017 PBA Philippine Cup on Saturday, January 28 at the Ynares Center in Antipolo.
Cabagnot, who finished with 19 points and 5-of-7 shooting from deep, was momentarily left open and he capitalized by pulling up for the game-winning triple to break the 94-all deadlock with 26.7 seconds remaining to overcome TNT.
THE CRUNCHMAN @askcabaggie WITH A COLD BLOODED THREE! #PBA2017 #WeArePBA pic.twitter.com/PPooeN15mW — PBA (@pbaconnect) January 28, 2017
June Mar Fajardo finished with a monster 20-20 game of 20 points and 22 rebounds plus 4 assists and 3 blocks as the Beermen stretched their win streak to 9 games to end the eliminations. Fajardo made crucial back-to-back baskets inside the final minute that allowed San Miguel to tie the game at 94.
Gunner Marcio Lassiter had only one make from beyond the arc but still wound up with 18 points and 9 rebounds for the now 10-1 Beermen.
Skipper Arwind Santos similarly had 18 markers and 6 boards as San Miguel, although already assured of a twice-to-beat advantage and top spot in the quarterfinals, still played with composure and braved TNT's fourth quarter rally.
Mo Tautuaa had a big game of 20 points for the KaTropa, who fell to a 6-5 record.
Jayson Castro came off the bench but still had a near-triple-double of 15 points, 6 rebounds, and 7 assists.
Larry Fonacier, who shoved TNT ahead in the fourth, added 10 points.
San Miguel (98): Fajardo 20, Cabagnot 19, Lassiter 18, Santos 18, Ross 9, Reyes 7, Espinas 4, Garcia 2, Agovida 1, Heruela 0, Tubid 0.
TNT (94): Tautuaa 20, Castro 15, Fonacier 10, Rosales 10, De Ocampo 9, Carey 6, Reyes 6, Pogoy 6, Rosario 4, Williams 3, Rosser 3, Golla 2,
Quarter scores: 31-24, 53-50, 76-67, 98-94.