WATCH: Interview with Coach Leo Austria and Best Player Jericho Cruz [July 10, 2022]

San Miguel vs Blackwater | PBA Season 47 Philippine Cup

What San Miguel Beer failed to achieve with a 21-point fourth quarter lead, it pulled off with some clutch plays in the crunch to escape Blackwater’s clutches, 110-107, in overtime Sunday in the PBA Philippine Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

June Mar Fajardo and Mo Tautuaa did the most damage for the Beermen in the extension by combining for 10 of their 13 points, with the six-time MVP’s charities making it a 110-107 count that redeemed him from the two botched free throws near the end of regulation that could have won it outright.

The two frontliners combined for four points in a 5-0 spurt to open up OT and shove SMB ahead, 102-97, that proved enough to force Blackwater to play catch-up for the remainder of the contest.

“Ang hirap manalo,” said Beermen coach Leo Austria.

“After watching their previous games, I know this will be a tough game for us,” added Austria. “Blackwater showed some character in the endgame. They played really hard and clever and alam nila ginagawa nila. Maganda ang executions nila. We’re lucky we were able to pull off a win.”

Fajardo wound up with 25 points on top of 18 rebounds to share scoring honors with Jericho Cruz while Tautuaa added 17 points and six caroms.

With CJ Perez adding 23 points, SMB was able to stretch its winning streak to five while improving to an 8-1 record overall and well on track to nabbing one of the top two slots that offer a win-once advantage in the next round.

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