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Lassiter scores game-winning trey as SMB subdues NLEX

PBA

By Ivan Saldajeno

QUEZON CITY--Marcio Lassiter missed his first six triples in San Miguel's PBA Governors' Cup game on Friday night.

His last attempt from deep went in, and it was the most important shot of the game.

Lassiter hit the go-ahead three-ball with 0.7 second remaining as the Beermen survived a collision course with the NLEX Road Warriors for a 94-93 win at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Lassiter, following a handoff by AZ Reid, quickly got past Sean Anthony and went open for the game-winner as San Miguel joined Meralco and surprise co-leader Mahindra at the top of the table with a 2-0 record.

The Beermen actually held a 17-point lead in the third quarter only to be erased by the Road Warriors before Lassiter saved the day.

San Miguel started the quarter with a 7-0 run to open their largest lead at 58-41, but NLEX capped their comeback with a 14-2 run to lead, 68-66, with less than a minute left in the period.

The Warriors threatened to pull away after building an 81-75 cushion in the fourth, but the Beermen stayed in step and the game went wild until the Warriors took a 93-88 lead with 1:04 left.

But Alex Cabagnot buried a triple with 27.1 seconds to go to cut the lead to two, 93-91, setting up a cliffhanging finale.

With the shotclock winding down in NLEX's final shot, Henry Walker badly missed a one-hander from the baseline, and Reid rebounded the ball before giving it to Lassiter, who called a timeout with 5.9 remaining to give Coach Leo Austria the chance to map the play that led to Lassiter's game-winner.

Jonas Villanueva still gave a scare as he got a good look from way out, but his buzzer-beater barely missed the mark.

Reid led the Beermen with 23 points, 11 rebounds, three assists, and one steal, while Cabagnot added 19 points, four rebounds, and three assists.

Lassiter actually came close to a double-double despite the off night vindicated by the game-winning three-pointer with eight points and nine rebounds along with two assists and one steal.

Gary David had his best game in a San Miguel uniform after tallying 13 points and four rebounds.

Walker finished with 33 points, six rebounds, four assists, and two steals, while Villanueva is the only other scorer in double figures with 14 points for NLEX, which despite committing only nine turnovers shot only 45 percent from the field compared to SMB's 52 percent and only made 50 percent from the foul line.

Box Scores:

San Miguel 94-Reid 23, Cabagnot 19, Fajardo 16, David 13, Lassiter 8, De Ocampo 6, Arana 4, Ross 3, Reyes 2, Heruela 0, Semerad 0, Tubid 0

NLEX 93-Walker 33, Villanueva J. 14, Anthony 9, Villanueva E. 8, Akl 7, Khobuntin 6, Taulava 6, Alas 4, Lanete 3, Monfort 3, Baracael 0

Quarterscores: 23-22, 51-41, 68-68, 94-93

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno