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San Miguel sends Ginebra packing to return to Philippine Cup finals

June Mar Fajardo scored 25 points to lead San Miguel Beer to a 100-94 victory over Barangay Ginebra at Cuneta Astrodome on Saturday and book a return trip to the PBA Philippine Cup finals.The defending all-Filipino champions closed out their best-of-7 semifinal series in 5 games. They await the winner of the Magnolia-NLEX series, which is tied at 2-2.“Kailangan naming ipanalo iyong series kasi pagod na kami . . . kapag hahaba pa series, nakakapagod. Buti napanalo na namin ang laro,” said Fajardo, whose squad is returning to the Philippine Cup championship series for a fourth straight year.“Hindi pa tapos trabaho namin, hindi pa tapos misyon namin.”Before coming away with the win in the well-attended game in Pasay city, San Miguel needed to turn back one final never-say-die stand from Ginebra in the fourth quarter.Ginebra used an 11-2 run to take a 90-87 lead much to the delight of its throngs of rabid supporters.But the Beermen, who have won the all-Filipino title thrice in a row with the same core, settled down, exchanged baskets with Ginebra then watched its opponents begin to misfire.Two baskets by Alex Cabagnot gave San Miguel a 98-94 lead inside the last 2 minutes, as the Beermen held Ginebra scoreless in the final 3:43 for the series-clinching win.Marcio Lassiter added 23 points and 5 3-pointers, while Matt Ganuelas-Rosser contributed 14 points and 8 rebounds.Arwind Santos chipped in 11 points, 13 rebounds, 4 steals and 3 blocks.Japeth Aguilar had another huge night, scoring 32 points to lead Ginebra, which thought Greg Slaughter would be able to play in the series but didn’t.June Mar Fajardo scored 25 points to lead San Miguel Beer to a 100-94 victory over Barangay Ginebra at Cuneta Astrodome on Saturday and book a return trip to the PBA Philippine Cup finals.The defending all-Filipino champions closed out their best-of-7 semifinal series in 5 games. They await the winner of the Magnolia-NLEX series, which is tied at 2-2. “Kailangan naming ipanalo iyong series kasi pagod na kami . . . kapag hahaba pa series, nakakapagod. Buti napanalo na namin ang laro,” said Fajardo, whose squad is returning to the Philippine Cup championship series for a fourth straight year.Hindi pa tapos trabaho namin, hindi pa tapos misyon namin.”Before coming away with the win in the well-attended game in Pasay city, San Miguel needed to turn back one final never-say-die stand from Ginebra in the fourth quarter.Ginebra used an 11-2 run to take a 90-87 lead much to the delight of its throngs of rabid supporters.But the Beermen, who have won the all-Filipino title thrice in a row with the same core, settled down, exchanged baskets with Ginebra then watched its opponents begin to misfire.Two baskets by Alex Cabagnot gave San Miguel a 98-94 lead inside the last 2 minutes, as the Beermen held Ginebra scoreless in the final 3:43 for the series-clinching win.Marcio Lassiter added 23 points and 5 3-pointers, while Matt Ganuelas-Rosser contributed 14 points and 8 rebounds.Arwind Santos chipped in 11 points, 13 rebounds, 4 steals and 3 blocks.Japeth Aguilar had another huge night, scoring 32 points to lead Ginebra, which thought Greg Slaughter would be able to play in the series but didn’t.

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