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Bay Area sets finals showdown vs. Ginebra as SMB misfires late

Andrew Nicholson soars for the jam for two of his 42 points. Dennis Acosta
By Ivan Saldajeno

PASAY—Bay Area survived a grind-out PBA Commissioner's Cup semifinals Game 4 against San Miguel and walked away with a 94-92 win on Wednesday night at the SM Mall of Asia Arena.

The Dragons clinched a berth in the championship series—and a date with Barangay Ginebra—after the Beermen could not close them out in the end.

With his team down 88-89, Kobey Lam hit a crucial three-pointer to put Bay Area ahead, 91-89, with 2:47 left.

CJ Perez had a chance to tie the game with two free throws off an Andrew Nicholson foul, but he could only split his charities and Nicholson fired another three to give the Hong Kong-based team a 94-90 cushion with 1:33 remaining.

Devon Scott missed two freebies in the next play, but he made up for it a minute later after drilling two more with only 33 seconds left.

Zhu Songwei missed a layup attempt that could have iced the game for the Dragons, and June Mar Fajardo grabbed the rebound to give the Beermen one last chance to win it.

However, Perez missed a three-pointer and Fajardo missed the putback that could have forced overtime as SMB's comeback ended in heartbreak.

Nicholson exploded for 42 points on 15-of-23 field goals including 6-for-10 on triples with 21 rebounds, four assists, and two steals, while Lam added 26 points, five rebounds, and five assists for Bay Area.

Perez fired 28 points on 12-for-21 shooting, six rebounds, two assists, and three steals, while Scott added 15 markers, 19 boards, eight dimes, and two steals for SMB.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno

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