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All-Filipino SMB rallies to stun Alaska

By Ivan Saldajeno

QUEZON CITY--Junemar Fajardo tallied 37 points, 14 rebounds, three assists, three blocks, and one steal as the all-Filipino SMB stormed back from 11 points down to beat Alaska, 106-103, in a PBA Governors' Cup match on Wednesday night at the Smart Araneta Coliseum reminiscent of their Philippine Cup Finals Game 4, which sparked the former's epic comeback from 0-3 down to win the title.

The Aces were up, 94-83, with 5:47 remaining in the game, but the Beermen launched a 9-0 run afterward with Fajardo and Marcio Lassiter teaming up for it, as the lead was chipped to two with 3:36 remaining.

LaDontae Henton scored four quick points to keep Alaska afloat with a 98-94 cushion with 2:32 remaining.

But another 8-0 run by San Miguel capped by back-to-back treys from Alex Cabagnot put the team ahead, 102-99, with 1:30 to go.

Calvin Abueva kept the Aces in the game with two charities to cut the lead to one, 102-101, with 1:23 to go.

Fajardo only made a split from the line in the next play, giving the Aces a chance to tie the game, which Henton did so with a shot against Chris Ross with 31.7 seconds remaining.

Fajardo again made only one of two free throws in the ensuing possession but made up for it this time by grabbing a rebound off Henton's potential go-ahead basket and swishing both his charities in his next trip to the line.

Ross then got back at Henton after he blocked his potential game-tying triple to save the day for the Beermen, which in effect put Henton's 45-point blast down the drain.

San Miguel was forced to play all-Filipino as AZ Reid cannot anymore stand the pain of his injured Achilles tendon.

Reid's temporary reliever, as per agent Sheryl Reyes earlier Wednesday, will only arrive on Friday.

Box Scores:

San Miguel 106-Fajardo 37, Cabagnot 17, Lassiter 12, Santos 11, Reyes 10, David 5, Ross 5, Arana 4, Tubid 3, De Ocampo 2, Semerad 0

Alaska 103-Henton 45, Abueva 15, Casio 13, Jazul 11, Baclao 6, Banchero 5, Thoss 4, Hontiveros 3, Racal 1, Exciminiano 0, Magat 0, Menk 0

Quarterscores: 27-23, 51-46, 72-80, 106-103

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