Dez Wells made sure Alex Cabagnot’s special night won’t go to waste.
Wells scored 22 of his game-high 32 points in the second half, including some clutch baskets at the stretch, to power San Miguel Beer past tenacious NLEX 98-94 in a thrill-packed PBA Governors Cup offering at the Coca-Cola Arena here.
The last of those baskets came off a tough drive, pushing the Beermen ahead for good at 95-94, still 23 ticks left.
Following a Kiefer Ravena miss, Chris Ross made it a two-point game with a charity and the Road Warriors had the chance to at least tie the game in the last 8.8 second and coach Yeng Guiao burned his last timeout to lay out such a strategy towards that end.
But NLEX import Olu Ashaolu capped a bad scoring night with a missed jumper, enabling Ross to seal the win with two charities, only 2.6 seconds left.
The victory was the third in as many games and made more memorable by the fact that Cabagnot’s elbow jumper at the 10:34 mark of the first quarter marked the first PBA basket made in the brand-new arena.
Cabagnot finished with 20 points while June Mar Fajardo added 16 and a team-high 18 rebounds.
San Miguel 98 – Wells 32, Cabagnot 20, Fajardo 16, Santos 9, Standhardinger 7, Ross 6, Pessumal 3, Nabong 3, Romeo 2, Rosser 0.
NLEX 94 – Ravena 20, Erram 12, Ighalo 12, Ashaolu 11, Cruz 11, Quinahan 9, Paniamogan 7, Galanza 7, Miranda 3, Fonacier 2, Varilla 0.
Quarterscores: 20-18, 42-41, 71-69, 98-94.