MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – The San Miguel Beermen staved off another comeback from Barangay Ginebra San Miguel to escape with a 95-92 victory in the 2016 PBA Governors' Cup semifinals on Wednesday, September 28, at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
The Beermen tied the best-of-5 series at one apiece.
Import Elijah Millsap, whose dunk towards the end after a mad scramble helped seal the victory, finished with 25 points, 9 rebounds, 4 assists, and a block.
June Mar Fajardo, the reigning back-to-back MVP, contributed 18 points plus 23 boards as he played through a cut above his right eye after an inadvertent elbow from Millsap in the second quarter. He covered it up with bandages during the game but said he would have it stitched Wednesday night.
Alex Cabagnot had 13 points and 8 assists, while Ronald Tubid added 10 points.
San Miguel again started strong for the second consecutive game, leading by as much as 47-31 in the second quarter.
The Gin Kings, who played catch-up for most of the game, wrestled the lead briefly midway in the third but the Beermen shot 3 triples in a row early in the fourth for a 9-0 surge that created an 88-78 separation with 7:47 to play.
Ginebra slowly chipped away at the deficit with an LA Tenorio 3-pointer pulling them within 92-93 with 20.4 ticks remaining. But turnovers and the Gin Kings gambling on a steal left Millsap open for the dunk that set the final tally.
Justin Brownlee's potential game-tying triple bounced off the rim as time expired.
Tenorio topscored for Ginebra with 22 points along with 7 assists, while Brownlee had 18 markers, 13 boards, and 6 dimes.
Mark Caguioa and Sol Mercado had 11 points each while Aljon Mariano chipped in 10.
Game 3 of this series is on Friday, September 30, 7 pm at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
San Miguel (95): Millsap 25, Fajardo 18, Cabagnot 13, Tubid 10, Lassiter 8, Ross 8, Santos 7, De Ocampo 6, Reyes 0, Semerad 0.
Ginebra (92): Tenorio 22, Brownlee 18, Caguioa 11, Mercado 11, Mariano 10, Aguilar 9, Thompson 7, Cruz 4, Devance 0, Marcelo 0.
Quarter scores: 24-18, 51-40, 72-71, 95-92.