OVER a span of a little over five seconds, import Reggie Williams turned from a likely goat to a hero for San Miguel Beer.
Unable to seal the win from the free throw line, the NBA veteran made the game-saving steal off San Mig import Marqus Blakely as the Beermen held on for a 92-90 victory on Sunday night in the PBA Governors Cup eliminations at the Mall of Asia Arena.
Williams had 29 points, nine rebounds, and six assists for the Beermen and stood at the foul line with 5.6 seconds left with a chance to wrap up the win after a James Yap three-pointer had cut San Miguel's lead to 90-92.
He missed both.
Blakely grabbed the rebound and sped downcourt, choosing to go on attack mode despite Yap and Mark Barroca open to take a shot at a tying basket - or possibly a game-winner.
Williams and Chris Ross ended up stripping Blakely of possession as the Beermen held on for their second successive win after opening the tournament with a loss.
"He’s (Williams) showing himself to be the great shooter. He can really shoot the ball and he’s really pushing himself minutes wise, but he missed a couple of free throws in the endgame because of fatigue,” said San Miguel active consultant Todd Purves.
On the other hand, the loss was the first for San Mig (1-1) in four games, or since beating Talk 'N Text twice in a row to wrap up the Commissioner's Cup championship.
Ross also played a huge hand in the Beermen’s fightback from an early nine-point fourth-quarter deficit, firing 13 of his 15 points in the last canto.
The cat-quick Ross also dished off eight assists, including a drop pass to June Mar Fajardo late in the game to give the Beermen a 90-85 cushion with 59 seconds to play.
Blakely led the Mixers with 31 points and 19 rebounds, while Mark Barroca added 13 and Marc Pingris 12.
San Miguel Beer 92 - Williams 29, Fajardo 18, Ross 15, Santos 13, Tubid 6, Lutz 6, Mercado 3, Kramer 2, Maierhofer 0, Duncil 0, Lassiter 0, Chua 0.
San Mig 90 - Blakely 31, Barroca 13, Pingris 12, Yap 11, Devance 8, Simon 8, Reavis 5, Mallari 2, Maliksi 0, Sangalang 0, Melton 0.
Quarterscores: 19-21, 40-44, 60-67, 92-90