(UPDATED) San Miguel Beer seized a 3-2 lead in the PBA Philippine Cup semis via an 89-78 win over Meralco in Game 5 on Friday at the Araneta Coliseum.
CJ Perez had 25 points, 9 rebounds, and 5 assists as the Beermen moved closer to their 14th appearance in the all-Filipino tournament.
Jericho Cruz led the blitz for San Miguel in the pivotal third period, where he scored 9 of his 17 points, to negate the Beermen's 7-point deficit.
Rodney Brondial provided the finishing kick to close out the Bolts.
Cruz said he wanted to make up for his anemic showing in Game 4 where San Miguel lost.
"Di ako pinatulog nung laro ko last time. Para sa akin, pinakapangit na laro ko yun," said Cruz, who only scored 2 in their defeat. "Going to this game, my mindset was just to be me."
"Actually, di ko naman iniisip umiskor. Ang iniisip ko eh to stop (Allein) Maliksi. Pag na-stop ko si Maliksi, mali-limit ang plays nila which yon ang nangyari."
Chris Newsome scored 24 points for Meralco, which also got 12 from Maliksi.
The two squads will meet again in Game 6 on Sunday.
SAN MIGUEL 89 – Perez 24, Cruz 17, Fajardo 12, Tautuaa 9, Enciso 8, Manuel 6, Lassiter 5, Brondial 5, Ross 0, Herndon 0
MERALCO 78 – Newsome 24, Maliksi 12, Hodge 11, Quinto 11, Almazan 8, Black 6, Pascual 2, Banchero 2, Hugnatan 2, Jose 0, Baclao 0
QUARTERS: 25-22, 41-44, 67-56, 89-78
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