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SMB holds on to beat Ginebra in OT

Renaldo Balkman walked away the victor against Justin Brownlee in the first match-up between the Alab imports. Rick Dela Cruz
By Ivan Saldajeno

PASAY--Renaldo Balkman prevailed over fellow Alab Pilipinas world import Justin Brownlee in their first meeting against each other.

Balkman's team, however, needed five more minutes to notch the win.

San Miguel turned back Ginebra, 104-97, in their PBA Commissioner's Cup battle at the Mall of Asia Arena on Sunday night.

With Alab head coach Jimmy Alapag and ace local Ray-Ray Parks in attendance, Balkman's Beermen scored their second straight win in the conference as Brownlee's Barangay continue to struggle.

Ginebra actually had a chance to pull away with just 3.6 seconds left in regulation with the team up, 92-91.

However, Sol Mercado missed one of two free throws, opening an opportunity for SMB to tie the game up.

Junemar Fajardo got the lucky bounce with his turnaround jumper with 1.1 seconds left that eventually forced overtime.

The Barangay still had one last crack at the win, but Renaldo Balkman picked their inbound pass as time expired.

The Beermen then went to work in the extra session, opening with a 5-0 rally while holding off the Barangay down the stretch.

Balkman, despite turning the ball over nine times, led SMB with 27 points, 11 rebounds, three assists, three blocks, and one steal.

Fajardo added 24 points, 19 rebounds, two assists, one block, and one steal, while Arwind Santos, who made crucial shots down the stretch, chipped in 19 markers, eight boards, one assist, one steal, and one block.

Brownlee struggled all game long, only making 7-of-27 field goals for 18 points, although he also had 14 rebounds, seven assists, five blocks, and three steals.

The scores:

San Miguel 104 - Balkman 27, Fajardo 24, Santos 19, Lassiter 11, Ross 10, Cabagnot 9, Mamaril 4, Rosser 0.

Ginebra 97 - Brownlee 18, Aguilar 17, Devance 15, Thompson 13, Cruz 10, Slaughter 9, Mercado 8, Tenorio 7.

Quarters: 23-20, 47-43, 71-73, 93-93, 104-97.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno