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Lions coach brace for Cardinals adjustment

MANILA, Philippines — The hot streak continues.

The Magnolia Hotshots held on and rolled to their seventh straight win over the San Miguel Beermen, 94-90, in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup Sunday at the Philsports Arena in Pasig City.

A 3-pointer by Jericho Cruz cut the lead to three, 79-82, with 5:50 remaining.

Magnolia then erupted for an 8-1 run capped by a pull-up jumper by Mark Barroca with 2:38 remaining for the 90-80 lead.

Ivan Aska, Chris Ross and Cruz teamed up for an 8-0 run to cut t he lead to two, 88-90, with 33 seconds left.

Free throws by Aris Dionisio iced the game for Magnolia.

Tyler Bey once again led the Hotshots with 31 points and 21 boards.

James Laput followed with 14 markers and seven rebounds.

Aska finished with 29 points and six rebounds for the Beermen, who dropped their last two games.

Magnolia is currently undefeated in seven games, while San Miguel dropped to 3-3 for the season.

MANILA, Philippines — With their backs against the wall, the San Beda Red Lions would not go down easily.

San Beda, trailing 0-1 in the NCAA Season 99 Finals against the Mapua Cardinals, pulled out all the stops it needed on Sunday, 71-65, to force a rubber match next Sunday.

Red Lions head coach Yuri Escueta is happy they finally won a game against the Cardinals this season.

“This is very special. If there’s one thing that we now know, and our players now believe in, is now, we can beat them,” Escueta told reporters after their win.

The head coach, however, acknowledged that the winner-take-all Game 3 will be an all-out war.

“It won’t be easy, knowing Coach Randy [Alcantara.] Of course, they’ll prepare. They will adjust,” Escueta said.

“They will adjust, and we have to be ready for that. But, this is a big win for us against Mapua,” he added.

The Red Lions will aim to bring the same intensity they had in Game 2 to Game 3.

“It is a do-or-die game. That’s it. We will do what we did today to the next game. We’ll leave everything on the floor,” he said.

“We’ve been in this stiuation before… And the only thing we did is we told our team to stay together, and never surrender. Fight until the end, whatever the result is.”

Game 3 will be on Sunday, December 17, at the Smart Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City.

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