DEZ Wells scored on a putback with 23 seconds left as San Miguel escaped with a 98-94 win over NLEX on Friday night in a PBA Governors’ Cup thriller at the Coca Cola Arena in Dubai.
Wells got the loose ball after an Arwind Santos miss from three-point range and drove down the lane for a layup to put the Beermen back on top, 95-91, after trailing NLEX for most of the way.
The high-flying Wells finished with 32 points and 14 rebounds as the grand slam-seeking Beermen won their third straight game - good for a share of first place with TNT.
NLEX suffered its first loss after three straight wins to start the conference despite taking a 94-91 lead into the final 1:15 on a Kenneth Ighalo three-pointer.
San Miguel won despite the ejection of Terrence Romeo, who was thrown out after headbutting Philip Paniamogan in the fourth quarter. Kelly Nabong was also sent off due to two technical fouls in the first half.
Alex Cabagnot added 20 points while June Mar Fajardo had 16 points and 18 rebounds for the unbeaten Beermen.
Ighalo drilled a triple to break a 91-91 tie for NLEX but it failed to protect its lead. Fajardo hit two free throws, and Kiefer Ravena missed a jumper to pave the way for Wells’ late heroics.
Ravena scored 20 points while Poy Erram and Ighalo added 12 each for the Road Warriors, who will face Barangay Ginebra on Saturday night at the Coca Cola Arena.
San Miguel 98 – Wells 32, Cabagnot 20, Fajardo 16, Santos 9, Standhardinger 7, Ross 6, Nabong 3, Pessumal 3, Romeo 2, Ganuelas-Rosser 0.
NLEX 94 – Ravena 20, Erram 12, Ighalo 12, Ashaolu 11, Cruz 11, Quinahan 9, Galanza 7, Paniamogan 7, Miranda 3, Fonacier 2, Varilla 0.
Quarters: 20-18; 42-41; 71-68; 98-94.