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Gonzaga, Beermen clinch Leg 1 title

New acquisition Tonino Gonzaga made his presence felt right away for San Miguel Beer, delivering clutch baskets down the stretch for a huge 21-17 come-from-behind win over Pioneer Elastoseal to bag the Leg 1 championship of the Philippine Basketball Association 3×3 Third Conference Season 2 Sunday at Robinsons Novaliches.

Gonzaga, who previously played for Meralco, scored three straight deuces to rally the Beermen and claim the P100,000 prize money.

The veteran guard finished with nine points and seven rebounds, while burly Ken Bono added eight and six rebounds.

Dariel Bayla and Leo De Vera round up the scoring for the Beermen, who were coached by Boysie Zamar.

The Elastoseal got a combined 13 points from new recruits Kenneth Mocon and Denice Villamor as the team settled for the P50,000 runner up purse.

Pioneer led 17-15 when Gonzaga suddenly found his range and scored six straight points to win it for San Miguel.

Earlier, Cavitex claimed a podium finish after a close 16-14 win over TNT.

Jorey Napoles had five points and seven rebounds for the Braves, who claimed P30,000 in placing third.

The unlikely finals between San Miguel and Pioneer was set up after the two teams pulled the rug from under their highly-fancied semifinal opponents.

Bono powered his way for the Beermen with 12 points and eight rebounds in a 21-17 victory over TNT, while the Elastoseal got a big lift from former Barangay Ginebra stalwart Villamor as they beat out Cavitex, 18-16.

In the quarterfinals, the Beermen downed Purefoods Titans, 21-12, the Elastoseal turned back Barangay Ginebra Kings, 18-16, Tropang Giga defeated J&T Express, 21-12, and the Braves escaped past Meralco Bolts, 15-10.

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