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PBA: SMB finishes strong to take down TNT

Jewel Ponferada could just look on as Ivan Aska scores on a dunk. PBA Images
By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA--San Miguel turned the tides in the last two minutes to pip TNT, 98-93, in a huge PBA Commissioner's Cup showdown on Sunday night at the Ynares Center in Antipolo.

A fadeaway from CJ Perez sparked the Beermen's last push offensively even as their defense shut down the Tropang Giga down the stretch.

Perez shot the go-ahead mid-range basket to put SMB ahead, 94-93, with 1:51 left, while his teammates forced Rondae Hollis-Jefferson to two stops, a missed three and a turnover that led to Ivan Aska's steal.

Aska would put back a Perez miss to up the Beermen's lead to three, 96-93, with 28 seconds left.

Perez then stole the ball off Kib Montalbo's inbound pass, and Jericho Cruz iced the game with two free throws.

Aska led SMB, which broke a tie with TNT and tied NorthPort for fourth place at 5-3, with 25 points on 11-for-18 shooting, nine rebounds, four assists, and three steals.

Perez added 20 points on 8-of-15 field goals, seven rebounds, two assists, two steals, and one block.

Calvin Oftana led the Tropang Giga, who fell to seventh place at 4-4, with 27 points, 13 rebounds, two assists, and one block.

Hollis-Jefferson added 26 points, 15 rebounds, five assists, three steals, and one block.

Follow him on X: @IvanSaldajeno

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