San Miguel gets back on track, fends off NorthPort

Brandon Brown Beermen


MANILA, Philippines—San Miguel squandered a 27-point lead but held on to take the 91-88 win over NorthPort to snap a two-game slide in the 2021 PBA Governors’ Cup Sunday at Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig.

The Beermen improved to a 1-2 card while the import-less Batang Pier slid to their third straight loss in as many games.

Its 62-35 lead midway was more of a curse than a blessing for San Miguel as it went back to its old ways of being complacent heading to the fourth wherein the Batang Pier got to within four, 89-85, off of Jamie Malonzo’s breakaway dunk with 1:26 to play.

The Batang Pier nearly sent the game to overtime but Robert Bolick missed his long-distance attempt with seven seconds remaining.

“It was a wake-up call after two losses and I’m so lucky the players responded especially in the first three quarters but there was still the habit of relaxing near the end which was how we lost in our first two games,” said Beermen head coach Leo Austria.

“This was a very scary game because we led by 27 points and there were only three left after the game. We nearly went to an extension. For a coach that really hurts but the players don’t want to give up and a win is a win. This will give us some confidence going to the next game.”

Brandon Brown led the Beermen with 24 points, 12 rebounds, and seven assists while June Mar Fajardo and CJ Perez had identical lines of 15 points and seven rebounds.

Bolick had 24 points and eight assists to lead NorthPort, which played without Cameron Forte, while former Beerman Arwind Santos had 23 points and 11 rebounds.


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