• SMB one win away from crown

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    IN THE FLOW San Miguel Beer's June Mar Fajardo battles for the ball against Alaska players during Game 3 of  the finals of the PBA Governor's Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City on Wednesday. PHOTO BY MIGUEL DE GUZMAN

    IN THE FLOW San Miguel Beer’s June Mar Fajardo battles for the ball against Alaska players during Game 3 of the finals of the PBA Governor’s Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City on Wednesday. PHOTO BY MIGUEL DE GUZMAN

    Import Arizona Reid posted another season-high 41 points to power San Miguel Beer’s 96-89 victory over Alaska in Game Three of the best-of-seven championship round of the 40th Philippine Basketball Association Governors’ Cup on Wednesday at the Araneta Coliseum.

    The San Miguel Beermen are one win short of sweeping the series and claiming their 21st overall title since joining the league in 1975.

    “I’m so proud of my players because they didn’t give and they really wanted to win the title,” said SMB head coach Leo Austria. “But we still cannot relax at the moment because we need to win one more game to clinch the title.”

    Reid registered 14-of-17 in the field with three triples despite a 4-of-10 in the foul line. He also notched 12 rebounds despite committing eight errors in the game.

    Best Player of the Conference June Mar Fajardo scored only 14 points but notched 19 rebounds while Alex Cabagnot had 13 points and five rebounds for the Beermen.

    Marcio Lassiter and Arwind Santos made eight points apiece also for San Miguel Beer.

    First quarter was a good start for the Beermen particularly for Reid who started hot allowing his team to establish a slim 25-21 lead at the end of that period. The San Miguel Beer import already had 11 points under his name in the first period.

    But San Miguel Beer’s offense softened in the second canto capped by seven turnovers that gave Alaska an opportunity to seize the lead, 41-35, with still seven minutes left before the halftime break.

    San Miguel Beer managed to bounce back bringing the score to 29-23. In response, Alaska responded with a 16-6 run capped by the back-to-back lay ups by Chris Exciminiano which provided the team a 37-35 advantage with 7:10 left in the second period.

    Forward Calvin Abueva, who averaged 8.4 points and 6.7 rebounds per game in the elimination round stretched the Aces’ lead to 41-35 after scoring two consecutive baskets during the last four minutes of the second frame.

    San Miguel Beer, however, brought the score to 48-52 and eventually overtaking the Aces, 39-45 in second quarter.

    The third quarter is a neck and neck race with the score at 77-76 by the end of the period.

    A lapse in the Aces’ defense allowed the Beermen to regain the lead 86-85 behind Lassiter’s jumper. Reid then added a three-pointer and a basket to pad up San Miguel Beer’s lead to 91-85 with only 2:53 to go.

    San Miguel Beer, in the remaining time, prevented all attempts of the Aces to catch up.

    Alaska import Romeo Travis scored only 17 points in the first three periods and zero in the fourth. He also notched seven rebounds. Abueva finished with 15 points also for the Aces.

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