Misfiring Marcio Lassiter hits shot that mattered most, lifts San Miguel past NLEX
Marcio Lassiter was 0-of-6 from three-point land before hitting the game-winner. Jaime Campos

MARCIO Lassiter saved his best for last to lift San Miguel Beer to a 94-93 victory over NLEX on Friday at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum to gain a piece of the PBA Governors’ Cup lead.

Misfiring all-game long, the SMB sniper hit the game-winning three-pointer from right wing with five-tenths of a second left as the Beermen notched a second straight win to join Meralco and Mahindra on top.

The Road Warriors failed to register their first victory in three games against the Beermen this season as they dropped their first game the season-ending conference after opening with a win.

“Nasa bingit na kami ng pagkatalo, pero sinwerte pa rin kami,” SMB coach Leo Austria said as his team erased a five-point deficit with a little over minute left after an Asi Taulava jumper.

Alex Cabagnot made Lassiter’s heroics possible as the man they call “Captain Crunch” buried a transition triple from right wing in the previous SMB offensive possession to trim the deficit to just two points, 93-91, with 27.1 seconds to go.

Lassiter finished with just eight points as he missed his first six three-point attempts, before knocking down the most important one in a play that was designed for import AZ Reid, who was held to just 23 points after pumping in 41 points against Phoenix last Sunday.

Cabagnot chipped in 19 points, four boards, and three assists, while June Mar Fajardo added 16 points and six boards in 29 minutes off the bench.

Bill Walker paced the Road Warriors with 33 markers after firing 44 in his first game, but it was star locals Taulava and Sean Anthony who hit the biggest clutch baskets that went for naught.


The scores:  

SMB 94 - Reid 23, Cabagnot 19, Fajardo 16, David 13, Lassiter 8, De Ocampo 6, Arana 4, Ross 3, Reyes 2, Heruela 0, Semerad 0, Tubid 0.
NLEX 93 - Walker 33, Villanueva J. 14, Anthony 9, Villanueva E. 8, Akl 7, Khobuntin 6, Taulava 6, Alas 4, Lanete 3, Monfort 3, Baracael 0.
Quarterscores: 23-22, 51-41, 68-68, 94-93

Follow the writer on Twitter: @KarloSacamos