BACK WITH A BANG | Millsap lifts San Miguel in final elimination round game

By Julian Reyes

BIÑAN--After losing the Governor's Cup finals three years ago, Elijah Millsap did not know whether he would be given another chance to continue that unfinished business for the then-called Petron Blaze Boosters.

Few days ago, the San Miguel management called for his services, to, indeed, fill the shoes left by an injured Arizona Reid.

On his first game back in the PBA, he proved the movement right.

Millsap debuted with 25 points, 15 rebounds and four assists to help the San Miguel Beermen repulse an already-eliminated Blackwater squad, 107-101, in the second to the last elimination round game of the 2016 PBA Governor's Cup at Alonte Sports Arena on Sunday.

A vastly improved Millsap shot 7-of-15 from the field and 8-of-11 from the free throw line to help San Miguel cap its elimination campaign with a 8-3 record, good for second place behind the TNT Katropa.

Arwind Santos also contributed big for the Beermen, pouring in 19 points and seven rebounds while reigning MVP June Mar Fajardo imposed his will down low anew, finishing with 18 points on 7-of-9 shooting, eight rebounds and two rejections. Alex Cabagnot and Ronald Tubid added 17 and 15 points respectively.

San Miguel waxed hot early in the game, even leading Blackwater by as much as 17 midway in the second canto, only to see the latter go for a fightback to trim the deficit to only 44-50 at the break.

Blackwater continued to do damage on San Miguel in the third quarter, stealing the lead at 69-67 with 2:44 left in the frame but it was also the Elite's final shining moment as the Beermen commenced a one last blast of their own. 

Tubid drilled two successive treys before the third frame ended to bring San Miguel in front, 78-75, then Millsap sparked a 10-2 opening fourth quarter run for Beermen to post a 88-77 lead--an advantage which the defending champions never relinquished of.

Arth dela Cruz led Blackwater with 23 points and 11 rebounds while Keala King added 18 points for the Elite who finished the conference at the bottom spot with 1-10 record.

Box Scores:

San Miguel 107–Millsap 25, Santos 19, Fajardo 18, Cabagnot 17, Tubid 15, Lassiter 3, De Ocampo 2, Espinas 2, Reyes 2, Ross 2, Semerad 2, Abdeen 0, Arana 0, Heruela 0

Blackwater 101–Dela Cruz 23, King 18, Pinto 13, Miranda 12, Lastimosa 11, Pascual 10, Sumang 8, Gamalinda 2, Sena 2, Tiongson 2, Eguilos 0, Reyes 0

Quarterscores: 32-20, 50-44, 78-75, 107-101

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