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SMB frustrates NLEX behind Millsap’s 39 to book semis seat

By Patrick Sutare

And the defense of the Third Conference Title stays alive.      

Championship know-how bespoke of San Miguel Beermen’s ascendency in clutch time as they squeaked past NLEX Road Warriors, 114-110, Friday night at the Smart Araneta Coliseum to march on to the Semis of the PBA Governor’s Cup.

Elijah Millsap, who just served his second game duty this conference, salvaged the Beermen from nearly blowing a 17-point edge, sizzling for 39 points and 11 rebounds to fend off the Road Warriors from forcing a sudden death match.

Millsap found himself in a vigorous battle against NLEX import Henry Walker, with the latter winning the head-to head match up after scorching for 45 markers and 17 boards.

NLEX kept within striking distance until the last two minutes of the game before Marcio Lassiter launched and hit a rainbow bomb from the left corner to give SMB an eight point cushion, 110-102, with over a minute remaining.

Jonas Villanueva countered the shot with a three of his own, but the meager time left averted the Road Warriors from mounting a late comeback and rescuing their campaign this season.

Lassiter finished with 14 points, while JuneMar Fajardo added 17 points and collared 13 rebounds.
SMB enters the Semis for the fourth consecutive time and will face the winner of the Ginebra-Alaska Quarterfinal clash on Monday.
The scores:
SMB 114 – Millsap 39, Fajardo 17, Lassiter 14, Cabagnot 14, Santos 11, Espinas 7, Tubid 6, Ross 4, De Ocampo 2
NLEX 110 – Walker 45, Villanueva J. 17, Lanete 13, Taulava 13, Anthony 11, Villanueva E. 6, Khobuntin 3, Alas 2, Baracael 0, Monfort 0
Quarterscores: 24-23, 63-48, 86-82, 114-110

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