PBA 2016: San Miguel an inch closer to a back-to-back finals appearance; Rain or Shine down 3-2.

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Cubao Philippines — The PBA Finals rematch between Alaska and San Miguel is just a win away for the Beermen as they put Rain or Shine on a brink of elimination with a critical Game 5 win.

Junmar Fajardo3

It took both teams time to get warmed up in the beginning of the match by scoring a total of 30 points. By the half, San Miguel was already leading with a 5-point margin at 50-45.

Rain or Shine come back from 10-point deficits during the first three quarters but San Miguel always had ways to bring back the double digit lead.

In the last quarter of play, San Miguel already went full power in the first 6 minutes by outscoring Rain or Shine, 22-13 points to find themselves on top by 13 points and went on to finish their opponents with the final score at 103-94.

Arwind Santos2 (1)

Eight players of San Miguel helped carry the load for Jun Mar Fajardo – who scored less than 30 points for the first time in the series – by scoring a minimum of 8 points.

Fajardo finished the game with 27 points and 12 rebounds. While on the other side of the fence, Quinahan led Rain or Shine with 2- points and 6 rebounds.

JR Quinahan2

“With this win, we achieved nothing yet,” said San Miguel coach Leo Austria who emphasized that the series is not yet far from over.

“The players are starting to pick up… especially the starters. This game was more mental. The approach is that we had to play deliberate and more methodological.” added Austria.

San Miguel has a chance to close out the series to face the Alaska Aces once again this coming Friday, January 15 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

The scores:

SAN MIGUEL 103 – Fajardo 27, Cabagnot 14, Lassiter 12, Santos 12, Espinas 9, Ross 9, Tubid 9, Arana 8, Lutz 3, Reyes 0.

RAIN OR SHINE 94 – Quinahan 20, Chan 15, Cruz 13, Ponferada 13, Belga 9, Norwood 8, Lee 7, Ahanmisi 5, Tiu 4, Teng 0, Trollano 0.

Quarters: 17-13, 50-45, 72-68, 103-94

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