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Unstoppable San Miguel dethrones Ginebra, clinches PBA Finals berth

PBA CJ Perez San Miguel vs Ginebra

San Miguel proved to be too much for defending champion Barangay Ginebra as the Beermen held off the Gin Kings, 94-91, in Game 3 of their best-of-five PBA Commissioner's Cup semifinals series on Sunday at the MOA Arena.

San Miguel will advance to the Finals, where it will take on either Magnolia or Phoenix Super LPG.

Bennie Boatwright led San Miguel with a stellar double-double of 26 points and 13 rebounds while getting ample support from the locals led by Jericho Cruz, who poured in 17 markers.

Despite trailing for most game, the the reigning Commissioner's Cup champions were able to keep pace with the Beermen as import Tony Bishop fired a triple to cut the deficit to three, 80-77, early in the fourth.

San Miguel's Marcio Lassiter and CJ Perez, though, fueled a 7-2 run that sent them to a 90-79 lead.

Scottie Thompson paved the way for a quick 6-0 counter as Ginebra closed back in, 90-83, and Christian Standhardinger, who was struggling offensively all game long, knocked down four consecutive freebies to make it a single possession affair, 92-89, with 39 seconds left to play.

But the 34-year-old big man committed a crucial turnover on a bad pass that eventually led to a Japeth Aguilar foul on June Mar Fajardo. The seven-time MVP then made them pay, sinking two charities to seal the deal.

Perez and Fajardo each chipped in 11 points for the Beermen.

Bishop, despite shooting just 38 percent from the field, still paced Ginebra with 25 points, eight rebounds, and two assists while Thompson chimed in with 17 markers. 

—JMB, GMA Integrated News