Reigning Philippine Cup champion San Miguel Beer (SMB) stopped Northern Luzon Expressway (NLEX) 131-127 in triple overtime on Tuesday in the Philippine Basketball Association Season 41 Commissioner’s Cup at the Araneta Coliseum.
“I have to give credit to the players, they really wanted to win. The game was really tough but because of the experience, they refused to lose. Both teams don’t like to lose and this game looks like a championship,” said San Miguel Beer coach Leo Austria during the postgame interview.
The victory assured the Beermen of at least an outright quarterfinals slot with a twice-to-beat advantage.
San Miguel Beer import Tyler Wilkerson posted a new career-high output of 58 points, 13 rebounds, seven assists and five steals for SMB. The Beermen’s win-loss record has improved to 6-3 after the win.
Combo guard Alex Cabagnot hit the crucial baskets in three overtimes to finish with 20 points on 6-of-12 shooting in the field plus 12 assists while center June Mar Fajardo contributed 18 points and 16 rebounds for SMB.
Forward Arwind Santos finished with 15 points before fouling out in the regulation while Marcio Lassiter had 11 points and eight assists also for the Beermen.
Thornton scored the game-tying, buzzer beating three-pointer in the regulation bringing the score to 99-all leading to the first overtime.
It was Cabagnot who nailed the game-tying (108-all) three-pointer in the first overtime. The Road Warriors failed to score in the last 20 seconds sending the game to another overtime.
Thornton scored six straight baskets in the second overtime to tie the count at 118-all. His failed dunk shot with a point of a second remaining sent the game into third overtime.
Lassiter scored two free throws with less than 15 seconds remaining in the third extension to snap the Road Warriors’ two-game winning run. NLEX’s record dropped to 5-5.
The game was the 11th triple overtime game in PBA history.
In the second game, Rain or Shine won 116-94 over an already eliminated GlobalPort to reach the quarterfinals and improve its win-loss record to 6-4.
Jeff Chan finished with 18 points including four triples while import Mo Charlo tallied a similar 18 points plus 11 rebounds.
Paul Lee contributed 12 points, while Jericho Cruz and Chris Tiu notched 11 and 10 points, respectively, for the Elasto Painters.
The Batang Pier’s win-loss record after suffering their seventh straight defeat dropped to 2-8.
Import Shawn Taggart led Global Port with 32 points and 15 rebounds while Terrence Romeo posted 19 points.