By JONAS TERRADO
Game Today (Cagayan de Oro City)
5 p.m. – Magnolia vs Meralco
Marcio Lassiter scored off a perfectly-executed inbound pass by Chris Ross with 0.5 seconds left and shorthanded San Miguel survived Kia’s huge comeback to escape with a 108-106 victory last night and gain one step closer from claiming a twice-to-beat advantage in the PBA Philippine Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
With the game looking as if it was heading to a five-minute overtime period, Ross threw a bounce pass into Lassiter, who quickly scored underneath that shocked the Picanto defenders as the Beermen avoided the upset to clinch their eighth victory in 10 games.
The victory was fashioned out minus injured guard Alex Cabagnot for the sixth straight time and star center June Mar Fajardo, who was scheduled to return last night from Melbourne after playing for Gilas Pilipinas in Thursday’s loss to Australia in the FIBA World Cup qualifiers.
San Miguel retained its hold on the top spot, but could end the day with the twice-to-beat advantage if Alaska defeated Rain or Shine in their game being played at presstime.
Rain or Shine entered the contest with a 5-3 record for third place while Alaska, tied at fourth with NLEX at 6-4, needed a win to stay in the hunt for a quarterfinal bonus.
The Beermen blew an 89-63 lead with 2:12 left in the third as the Picanto grabbed the driver seat, 104-103, late in the fourth.
SAN MIGUEL 108 – Santos 27, Lassiter 22, Pessumal 11, De Ocampo 10, Heruela 9, Ross 9, Espinas 8, Vigil 5, Ganuelas-Rosser 5, Mamaril 2, Agovida 0, Lanete 0, Semerad 0.
KIA 106 – Khobuntin 15, Corpuz 12, Gabriel 10, McCarthy 10, Yee 10, Cabrera 9, Celda 8, Camson 8, Tubid 7, Ababou 6, Jamon 5, Escoto 4, Lastimosa 2, Sara 0, Galanza 0.
Quarters: 29-23; 61-41; 91-71; 108-106.