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PBA: SMB escapes late Ginebra blast to stay unbeaten

CJ Perez put up a point-assist double-double to pace the now 4-0 Beermen. PBA Images
By Ivan Saldajeno

MAKATI--San Miguel survived a late run from Ginebra for a 95-92 win to keep their record unblemished in the PBA Philippine Cup on Friday night at the Smart Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City.

The Beermen held an 18-point lead, 84-66, with 11:31 left in the game, but the Gin Kings slowly crawled back to the game and a Maverick Ahanmisi triple off an anklebreaker against CJ Perez cut the lead down to two, 93-91, with 1:09 left.

Jericho Cruz, though, scored on a tough layup to up SMB's lead back to four, 95-91, with 44.1 seconds left.

Jamie Malonzo fumbled the ball while driving to the lane, giving the ball back to the Beermen, although they too turned the ball over in the next play.

Ahanmisi tried to keep the Gin Kings in the game, but he missed the first of two free throws off a foul on Cruz with 3.5 seconds to go.

Ahanmisi made the second free throw, but they conceded the game by letting the Beermen run the remaining time on the clock.

Perez finished with 18 points, four rebounds, 10 assists, and four steals, while Don Trollano, having to play an undersized power forward down the stretch, added 15 points and eight rebounds off the bench for SMB, which is now at 4-0.

Forced to play with a protective mask on, June Mar Fajardo came up with 14 points, 10 rebounds, and one assist off the bench.

Japeth Aguilar led Ginebra, which fell to 3-2, with 17 points on 7-of-11 field goals, four rebounds, and two blocks.

Ahanmisi added 16 points, 10 rebounds, and two assists, while Malonzo and Standhardinger each contributed 14 markers with Standhardinger also grabbing 17 boards.

Follow him on X: @IvanSaldajeno

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