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SMB survives Ginebra's late heroics, ties semis series

By Ivan Saldajeno

QUEZON CITY--San Miguel pulled one game back in its PBA Governors' Cup semifinal series against Ginebra with a 95-92 Game 2 win at the Smart Araneta Coliseum on Wednesday night.

Two nights after seeing their first half getting brushed off by the Barangay, the Beermen again lost a comfortable lead 24 minutes in but this time held off the Barangay from completing yet another comeback.

SMB broke away late in the first quarter to open a lead as much as 16, 47-31, in the second quarter before settling for a 51-40 halftime lead.

Ginebra's 10-4 run to end the second period, however, turned out to be the spark of its third quarter blitz that gave the team the lead, 62-61.

Both teams engaged in a seesaw battle later in the third with the Beermen leading at the end, 72-71.

They tried to pull away again thanks to triples from Ronald Tubid, Elijah Millsap, and Alex Cabagnot that opened a 10-point cushion, 88-78.

The Barangay refused to give up, going on a 12-2 run to come to within one, 92-93, with 20.4 seconds remaining.

San Miguel broke loose on Ginebra's pressure defense, and Millsap capped the press-breaker with a slam with 12.9 seconds left for the 95-92 cushion.

Justin Brownlee tried to force overtime, but his three-pointer at the final horn failed to hit the mark.

Millsap came close to a double-double with 25 points and nine rebounds with four assists, one steal, and one block and so did Cabagnot (13 points and eight assists) and Arwind Santos (seven points and nine rebounds).

Junemar Fajardo did complete a double-double for SMB despite a cut to his right eye after an accidental elbow from Millsap with 18 markers and 23 boards with one dish and two blocks.

L.A. Tenorio had 22 points, two rebounds, seven assists, and one steal for Ginebra.

The said result forced a Game 4 on Sunday night at the said venue with Game 3 happening two nights prior on Friday also at the Quezon City arena.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno