Third Place: SLR 99, SMB 97

On: 28 January 2009

PBA's 34th Season

San Miguel Beer could have made history in the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) Wednesday night but Sta. Lucia Realty spoiled what could have been a minor celebration.

The Realtors foiled the Beermen’s bid of becoming the first team to win 1,000 games and capture their 15th third place title scoring a 99-97 win to clinch second runner-up honors in the KFC PBA Philippine Cup the Araneta Coliseum.

Dennis Miranda converted on a baseline floater with still 1:30 left to play, but it was a shot enough to give the Realtors their sixth third place effort against a San Miguel team that played minus Danny Seigle, Dorian Peña, Lordy Tugade and Jay Washington.

Seigle was bothered by a lower back spasm; Tugade still was feeling pains from his left knee injury; Peña has yet to recover from his severe right ankle sprain; while Washington arrived when the match had already reached the third quarter after deciding to get his rib pains checked and was never fielded.

Yet, the Beermen made one gallant stand against the dethroned champions, leading 95-87 on a pair of free throws from Wesley Gonzales with 6:39 remaining in the game.

The Realtors then held the Beermen to a single field goal in the last six minutes while coming through with a 12-2 closing run, clinching a respectable finish while snapping a six-game losing streak in the battle for third place.

"Even though we fell short, it was still a good run," said SLR coach Boyet Fernandez. "We just hope that the experience we learned from this conference could give us the opportunity to check on the things that we have to improve on.

"Sana sa next conference, makabawi kami (Hopefully we can bounce back next conference)."

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