San Miguel continued to build momentum after its disastrous start as it scraped past Barangay Ginebra, 104-97, in overtime in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup Sunday at Mall of Asia Arena.
The Beermen started the conference on a 0-3 spiral but has since won two straight to get to a 2-3 card while the Gin Kings lost back-to-back games and slipped to 1-5 to stay at the 11th seed.
Reigning four-time MVP June Mar Fajardo found the lucky bounce in his turnaround jumper over Greg Slaughter to tie the game at 93-93 with 1.1 seconds left in regulation.
Renaldo Balkman then picked Joe Devance’s pass to preserve the tie sending the game into overtime where 2013 MVP Arwind Santos worked his magic.
Santos first knocked down a three-pointer to open the scoring and give the defending champions a 96-93 lead then hit another long ball for the 102-95 buffer with 2:00 left.
“We knew from the start that this would be an exciting game because both of us are struggling in this conference and this game is very important for both teams,” said San Miguel head coach Leo Austria.
“Fortunately we’re able to get this win and I think it could be a good morale-booster for us going into our next games. This was the game that I’ve waited for from my players and I’m happy for them.”
Balkman finished with a game-high 27 points with 11 rebounds and three blocks for the Beermen while Fajardo had 24 points and 19 rebounds.
Justin Brownlee led the Gin Kings with 18 points, 14 rebounds, seven assists, three steals, and five blocks with Japeth Aguilar pitching in 17 points and seven boards.
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