SLR 92, SMB 98

On: 20 March 2009

PBA Fiesta 2009

San Miguel Beer went through a wringer but survived, making it 5-of-5 in the Motolite PBA Fiesta Conference with a 98-92 decision over Sta. Lucia Realty on 19 March at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig.

The Beermen gallantly clawed their way back from the depth of 19-point deficits in the third quarter then went to Dondon Hontiveros for the clutch shots at the finish, completing the come-from-behind victory that kept their unbeaten run in the season-ending tourney.

Hontiveros banged in a booming triple and nailed a free throw in the last 23 seconds to clinch the win that stretched the Beermen's searing run to five games.

Trailing most of the first three quarters, the Beermen shifted to zone defense to stymie Sta. Lucia's searing offense.

San Miguel stormed upfront, 69-62, at the end of the third period and hung tough to the finish in dealing Sta. Lucia a second loss against three wins.

Before the game, San Miguel and Sta. Lucia were the hottest teams in the tourney with the Beermen on a four-game romp and the Realtors on a three-game roll.

It appeared the Realtors would keep their run going as they started strong and enjoyed 19-point spreads at 53-34 and 62-34.

But the Beermen won't give up.

The Beermen held the Realtors scoreless in the last five minutes of the third period to sway the tide in their favor going into the fourth quarter.

San Miguel surged ahead to stay at 95-92 on a three-pointer by Hontiveros with 23 ticks left to play.

Sta. Lucia eventually yielded the game as Joseph Yeo was called for an offensive foul on Jay Washington after the Hontiveros trey.

Hontiveros and Gabe Freeman converted three straight charities in the closing seconds for the final count.

Freeman scored 25 points and got 12 rebounds as against Anthony Johnson's 17 points and 11 rebounds.

Hontiveros and Olsen Racela added 17 and 15 points, respectively, for the Beermen.

The Realtors dominated the first half, sitting on a 44-34 cushion at the turn with Kelly Williams leading their assault with 13 points.

Second-string forward Norman Gonzales scored eight straight points to highlight a key run opening up a 40-31 lead for Sta. Lucia from a 26-all count.

Marlou Aquino made all of his seven points in the first quarter ending in their favor at 21-19.

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