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Beermen nip Hotshots

San Miguel clipped sister squad Magnolia, 100-98, last night to join Converge and NLEX on top of the leaderboard four games into the Philippine Basketball Association Governors’ Cup.

But the victory didn’t come in handy for the Beermen, who had to bank on their vaunted firepower in outlasting the Hotshots at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Playing without Ian Sangalang, down with a bum stomach, Magnolia turned to former Gilas mainstay Russell Escoto. Still, it wasn’t enough to derail San Miguel from gaining a share of the lead in the conference.

Six players ended up in double figures for San Miguel.

Inside the paint, six-time Most Valuable Player June Mar Fajardo was business as usual as the leading candidate for the MVP honors reasserted his dominance, ending up with a double-double performance of 16 points and 10 boards.

From the perimeter, Marcio Lassiter was right on target. He hit 6-of-10 shots from beyond the arc on his way to tallying 18 points.

Import Cameron Clark didn’t have to produce many points, but once again proved to be a great fit as he was active on both ends of the floor, finishing with 19 points and 10 boards.

Three other Beermen hit double digits with CJ Perez hitting 17, Jericho Cruz 13 and Simon Enciso 12.

San Miguel coach Jorge Gallent said defense was pivotal in getting the job done.

“Once again, it’s our defense. Our good defense keeps our good offensive game flowing,” Gallent said.

The Hotshots, a consistent playoff performer, suffered their third straight loss and remained winless in the tournament.

The Scores:
SAN MIGUEL (100) — Clark 19, Lassiter 18, Perez 17, Fajardo 16, Cruz 13, Enciso 12, Brondial 3, Manuel 2, Bulanadi 0.
MAGNOLIA (98) — Lee 19, Jalalon 17, Mccree 13, Barroca 13, Abueva 11, Escoto 9, Laput 9, Dela Rosa 4, Wong 3, Reavis 0, Corpuz 0.
QUARTERS: 26-29, 47-51, 79-70, 100-98.

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