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Bacolod City, Philippines Thursday, May 16, 2019
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Beermen captures 5th straight
PBA All-Filipino championship


June Mar Fajardo and his teammates overcame an error-strewn first half, flashing the great SMB stuffs in the second half as the Beermen nipped the fierce-fighting Magnolia Pambansang Manok side, 72-71, last night to stretch their PBA Philippine Cup reign to five years.

Fajardo grabbed a league all-time high 31 rebounds and put in 17 points to make up for nine turnovers while Alex Cabagnot drilled in crucial shots at endgame to highlight an 18-point game as the Beermen beat out their worthy challengers in a well-fought do-or-die set to before a raucous crowd of nearly 13,000 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Cabagnot made the go-ahead basket on a tough fade-away off Paul Lee and the Beermen held the Hotshots scoreless in the last two minutes as San Miguel became the first team in league history to win the all-Filipino tourney five straight times.

And it was their 26th championship in all.

The Hotshots had their chance to foil the Beermen's bid but Jio Jalalon muffed a shot underneath the basket at endgame.

Thus, the Beermen kept their stranglehold of the all-Filipino plum, and Terrence Romeo and Christian Standhardinger ended their chase for a first PBA championship.

Fajardo completed a personal twin-kill in winning the Finals MVP award in addition to the Best Player of the Conference accolade.

The 6-foot-10 behemoth struggled badly in the first half but imposed himself at winning time, dominating the board to shatter the long-standing 29 rebounds of Marcelo Simbulan of the 7-Up Uncolas.

At endgame, coach Leo Austria went to his tested combination of Fajardo, Cabagnot, Arwind Santos, Chris Ross and Marcio Lassiter who stood their ground against the gritty Hotshots in a seesaw battle at the finish.

Santos had his own double-double game with 17 points and 11 rebounds while Ross had his own solid all-around numbers with eight rebounds, seven markers and one assist.

Lassiter struggled with a 2-of-7 clip and, worse, lost possession while the Beermen were holding a precarious 72-71 lead with 17 seconds left.

The Beermen, however, pulled a stoppage and salvaged the game where they trailed by as many as 17 points.*pba.ph


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