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Santos makes Belo-like game-winner as SMB escapes Barako to get solo leadership anew

By Ivan Saldajeno

ANTIPOLO--Before Mac Belo became FEU's King Tamaraw, there was Arwind Santos.

But on Sunday in the PBA Philippine Cup, Santos did an encore of Belo's heroics less than 24 hours prior.

The leader of the Tamaraws' three-peat conquest from 2003 to 2005 scored a putback similar to that of their current head in their UAAP semifinals win the night earlier as San Miguel nosed Barako Bull, 106-105, at the Ynares Center.

Santos followed up on a Marcio Lassiter miss with 0.6 second left as the Beermen once again took sole position of first place in the team standings at 5-1.

The Energy, however, put some late drama in the game.

San Miguel led, 104-100, with 1:01 remaining in the match, but Willy Wilson scored on the other end to trim the edge to two, 104-102, with 46 seconds remaining.

Barako then forced a 24-second infraction on San Miguel, giving the former a chance to go for the tie with 20 seconds remaining.

R.R. Garcia, however, went for a triple that hit the target and gave his team a 105-104 lead with ten seconds on the clock.

Lassiter opted to take the marginal basket in the Beermen's final play only to be botched, but Santos soared the put the ball back in to put them back up, 106-105.

Garcia tried another trey at the final horn, but his shot went off.

Santos' go-ahead follow-up made sure that Junemar Fajardo's 28-point, 20-rebound game will not go to waste. Santos finished with 15 markers of his own.

Josh Urbiztondo continued leading the way for the Energy as he tallied a team-high 19 points.

Box Scores:

San Miguel 106-Fajardo 28, Tubid 16, Santos 15, Cabagnot 12, Espinas 11, Lassiter 11, Lutz 4, Ross 3, Arana 2, De Ocampo 2, Heruela 2, Reyes 0

Barako Bull 105-Urbiztondo 19, Wilson 18, Pennisi 15, Garcia 14, Baracael 9, Brondiual 7, Fortuna 6, Monfort 6, Intal 5, Lanete 4, Caperal 2

Quarterscores: 28-18, 48-55, 76-80, 106-105

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno