San Miguel Beermen fended off a late rally by Meralco Bolts in Game 5 of their best-of-seven semifinals encounter, 89-78, to move a win away from a finals return in the 2022 PBA Philippine Cup on Friday at the Araneta Coliseum.
Tied at 50 early in the third period, the Beermen started to create a gap after CJ Perez fueled a 17-6 rampage as San Miguel erected a 67-56 lead to end the penultimate period.
That upper hand stretched to 15 in the fourth, 71-56, after a basket from big man Mo Tautuaa but the Bolts retaliated with a 9-0 spurt. Aaron Black continued to rally Meralco as he got his side to within five, 78-73, with 3:38 left to spare.
Allen Maliksi then fired a triple for a 78-76 spread but San Miguel held on until the final buzzer to get a game ahead in the series.
San Miguel, who is a former five-peat All-Filipino champion, will look to close out Meralco on Sunday.
San Miguel 89 - Perez 25, Cruz 17, Fajardo 12, Enciso 10, Tautuaa 9, Manuel 6, Lassiter 5, Brondial 5, Ross 0, Herndon 0.
Meralco 78 - Newsome 24, Maliksi 12, Hodge 11, Quinto 11, Almazan 8, Black 6, Hugnatan 2, Pascual 2, Banchero 2, Jose 0, Baclao 0.
Quarter scores: 25-22, 41-44, 67-56, 89-78.
—MGP, GMA News