WE'VE got a series, folks.
San Miguel took another major step in its quest for a historic comeback, outduelling Alaska, 86-73, in overtime on Wednesday night to cut the Aces' lead to 3-2 in the PBA Philippine Cup Finals.
June Mar Fajardo marked a dramatic return from injury with 13 points on 4-of-5 shooting, inspiring a Beermen side that looked down and out when it fell behind 0-3 without their big man in the best-of-seven series.
Now, the rejuvenated Beermen, who also won Game 4 in overtime, are two wins away from becoming the first team in the pro league's 41-year history to win a series from 0-3 down.
“I think the players and fans were inspired by the presence of June Mar,” SMB coach Leo Austria said. “We didn’t want him to play, but he insisted.”
Aside from that, Fajardo came through his first game since injuring his knee in the semifinal series against Rain or Shine looking like he is close to being a decisive force once again in the finals.
Arwind Santos also had a double-double of 22 points and 16 rebounds for the Beermen in s fiercely fought low-scoring game that turned into a rout in the extra session.
Alaska fought gallantly to stay alive in regulation but fired blanks in extra time, missing its first eight attempts and going without a score until Vic Manuel hit a free throw with 1:18 to go.
By then, the Beermen had built an inexorable 78-67 lead.