San Miguel def Magnolia, 108-98 [PBA S48 Comm’s Cup Finals G5 | Feb. 11, 2024]

Thanks largely to career playoffs high from Jericho Cruz, San Miguel Beer is back in the driver’s seat, with two cracks at making the mountaintop.

Derailed in Game 3 then denied a second time in the next game, the Beermen snapped out of the rut and took the pivotal 3-2 lead with a 108-98 victory over the fierce-fighting Magnolia Hotshots in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup Finals Sunday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Cruz and the Beermen ripped apart the Magnolia shackles after being held to an average of 82.5 points in the last two games.

Cruz led the SMB shooting party with eight three-pointers and a total of 30 points, with three other SMB gunners rifling in a combined eight treys as the Beermen grabbed the crucial Game 5 and thus moved within a win of reclaiming the Commissioner’s Cup crown they last won in 2019.

Overall, the Beermen shoot for their 29th championship as they face the Hotshots at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday in Game 6.

Once again a beleaguered lot, the Hotshots need to win two in a row to salvage the series and end a six-year drought.

The Beermen were not to be denied in Game 5 with their 37-percent three-point shooting — and 41-percent overall – as against the Hotshots’ mere 10-of-26 treys.

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