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San Miguel grabs 2-1 lead with OT win over TNT

San Miguel Beer caught fire down the stretch to register a 108-100 overtime win over TNT Tropang Giga in Game 3 of the Philippine Basketball Association Philippine Cup best-of-seven championship series Friday night at the Mall of Asia Arena.

The Beermen spoiled TNT’s second-half rally to break the deadlock and claim a crucial 2-1 lead, putting them two wins away from winning the coveted All-Filipino diadem.

June Mar Fajardo put on a monster game of 27 points and 25 rebounds– his best game since tallying 42 points and 20 boards in the 2018 Philippine Cup.

Jericho Cruz starred in the crucial stretch with 18 points and two steals, Marcio Lassiter had 13 markers and four boards, while Vic Manuel and CJ Perez wound up with 11 and 10 respectively.

“Nothing changed with our game plan in our defense, but we kept on learning how they (TNT) ran their plays,” San Miguel mentor Leo Austria said.

“They are not changing their pattern. I’m so happy because my players like June Mar and Robbie were patient.”

“I have to appreciate them because they appreciate the importance of this game.”

After Castro missed a potential game-winner with two seconds left, San Miguel flexed its bench depth anew to bag the win.

Robbie Herndon, who committed a technical foul that led to overtime, redeemed himself by scoring five straight markers to gain a 99-94 lead with 3:33 left.

Cruz padded their lead from the stripe, while Chris Ross kept TNT at bay with a booming triple, 106-97, 1:31 remaining.

The Beermen even frustrated the misfiring Tropang Giga by milking the clock before Cruz iced the game under 41 seconds to go.

Roger Pogoy’s 25-point outing went for naught as TNT was limited to only six points, and Jayson Castro and Mikey Williams added 17 points apiece.

San Miguel will shoot for a commanding 3-1 lead in Game 4 on Sunday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

The Scores:

SAN MIGUEL (108) — Fajardo 27, Cruz 18, Lassiter 13, Manuel 12, Perez 11, Ross 8, Herndon 8, Tautuaa 6, Brondial 5, Enciso 0.

TNT (100) — Pogoy 25, M.Williams 17, Castro 17, Erram 11, Khobuntin 11, K.Williams 10, Rosario 4, Reyes 3, Marcelo 2, Ganuelas-Rosser 0, Montalbo 0, Cruz 0.

QUARTERS: 27-19, 49-46, 74-76, 94-94, 108-100.

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