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San Miguel escapes as Ginebra's late run falls short

By Dugout Philippines

San Miguel staved off a late Ginebra rally to walk away with a 79-77 win in the nightcap of the PBA doubleheader at the Smart Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City.

The Beermen led by 13, 67-54, with 7:51 remaining in the game.

But an 8-0 run by the Gin Kings cut the lead to five, 67-62.

Ginebra extended the run after scoring five straight after a Junemar Fajardo basket to draw closer to two, 67-69, with 1:53 left.

Ronald Pascual momentarily kept Ginebra at bay with a triple to stretch the lead to five, 72-67.

But Greg Slaughter scored five more in succession to tie the match, 72-all, with 40.7 seconds left.

Fajardo put the Beermen back on top, 74-72, with 24.1 seconds to go.

Japeth Aguilar then missed out on an alley-oop dunk that would have tied the count anew.

Arwind Santos nailed two free throws to put the lead back to four.

But Slaughter quickly answered with a short jumper to cut the gap to two again.

After two more charities from Santos, Jayjay Helterbrand fired a three-pointer to chop the lead to one, 78-77.

Ginebra got a crack to force overtime after Fajardo made only one of his two free throws.

But the Gin Kings failed to score at the final buzzer.

Santos led the Beermen with 22 points.

Box Scores:

San Miguel 79-Santos 22, Fajardo 21, Lutz 10, Pascual 7, Tubid 6, Chua 4, Ross 3, Lassiter 3, Mercado 2, Maierhofer 1, Semerad 0, Fortuna 0, Omolon 0

Ginebra 77-Slaughter 16, Aguilar 15, Tenorio 10, Helterbrand 10, Caguioa 7, Ellis 6, Mamaril 3, Urbiztondo 3, Yeo 3, Reyes 2, Brondial 2, Monfort 0, Baracael 0, Forrester 0

Quarterscores: 14-17, 38-33, 61-49, 79-77