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SMB keeps poise to edge Meralco for 2-1 semis lead

CJ Perez sizzled for 26 points to lead the Beermen to a 2-1 lead against the Bolts. Dennis Acosta
By Ivan Saldajeno

QUEZON CITY--San Miguel maintained its composure against a gritty Meralco squad to take a 96-91 win in Game 3 of the PBA Philippine Cup semifinals on Sunday night at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

With a pivotal 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven series on the line, both teams engaged in a tight encounter with the largest just at 10 points by the Beermen early in the fourth quarter.

However, behind a stellar showing from CJ Perez and June Mar Fajardo, SMB remained in control for most of the match and quickly repulsed any huge rally from Meralco until the end.

Perez finished with 26 points, three rebounds, three assists, and three steals, while Fajardo added 21 points, 16 rebounds, and two blocks for the Beermen.

Chris Newsone made 16 markers, four boards, six dimes, and one steal, Aaron Black and Allein Maliksi each added 15 points, and Cliff Hodge chipped in 12 points, 13 caroms, four assists, two blocks, and three steals for the Bolts.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno

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