Defending champion San Miguel Beer rallied past Alaska 110-104 in overtime in Game 4 to stay alive in the best-of-seven championship round of Philippine Basketball Association Season 41 Philippine Cup on Sunday at the Philsports Arena in Pasig City.
Guard Marcio Lassiter delivered 26 points on 9-of-24 shooting in the field while playmaker Chris Ross flirted a near triple-double posting 11 points, 11 rebounds and nine assists to help the Beermen deny Alaska’s four-game sweep.
Gabby Espinas scored 21 points and grabbed 14 rebounds while Alex Cabagnot had 16 points and Arwind Santos added 11 points and 12 rebounds also for the Beermen.
Swingman Cyrus Baguio, who posted 11 points along with five rebounds and four assists, hit the game-tying buzzer beating three-point shot in the regulation to force the overtime.
Vic Manuel led Alaska in fourth straight game with 20 points and 13 rebounds.
Alaska still leads the series at 3-1.
Game 5 is set at at the Araneta Coliseum.
Despite being sidelined in the entire championship series, two-time Most Valuable Player awardee 6’10 June Mar Fajardo claimed his fourth overall Best Player of the Conference trophy before the Game 4 tip-off.
It was also Fajardo’s third BPC award in the Philippine Cup.
Fajardo, 26, who averaged 26.7 points, 15 rebounds and 1.8 blocks per game during the elimination and semifinals round, suffered a left knee injury during Game 6 of San Miguel Beer’s best-of-seven semifinals series against Rain or Shine.
Before his injury, Fajardo had an average of 31.3 points, 15.7 rebounds and 2.7 blocks during the semifinals.
The 2012 top overall pick of Petron Blaze (now San Miguel Beer) got a leading total of 1407 points which came from the stats, votes from the media, players and the PBA Commissioner’s Office.
He pushed fellow center 7-footer Greg Slaughter of Ginebra behind second place with 803 total points followed by Paul Asi Taulava of Northern Luzon Expressway (NLEX) with 496 and Sean Anthony also of NLEX with 473.
Barako Bull’s power forward Willie Wilson finished fourth in the race with 449 total points.
Although there was a chance to use Fajardo in the series, San Miguel Beer coach Leo Austria just decided not to use him because he wasn’t 100 percent healthy.
“June Mar’s health is important than winning this championship and at the same time, he is also very important to the national team,” Austria told The Manila Times during interview. “He really deserved his third Philippine Cup Best Player of the Conference trophy.”
Fajardo’s fourth overall BPC Awards placed him right behind former San Miguel Beer center Danny Ildefonso who has five BPC awards.