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 Ginebra's LA Tenorio drives against June Mar Fajardo of San Miguel Beer during their PBA Philippine Cup game at the Smart Araneta Coliseum Sunday night. | PBA Images

MANILA, Philippines – The Barangay Ginebra Kings remain hopeful they will make the playoff round even as they have dropped out of the Magic Eight following their 70-72 loss to the San Miguel Beermen in the PBA Philippine Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum Sunday night.

Ginebra chief playmaker LA Tenorio saw a positive sign in that defeat, pointing out the defensive effort they put up to hold June Mar Fajardo down to nine points and limit the whole SMB team more than 30 points below their average.

"Yes, we're disappointed with the loss, but at least there's a bright side on it. We had a tremendous defensive effort. There's no June Mar Fajardo in our last four games. If we'll be able to sustain the same effort in our remaining games, we may get good results," said Tenorio.

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 San Miguel's Alex Cabagnot drives past Ginebra's LA Tenorio. Photo courtesy of the PBA Media Bureau

MANILA, Philippines – Not even a fractured nose can stop San Miguel guard Alex Cabagnot, who was named the PBA Player of the Week for the period of December 28 to January 8 after helping the Beermen rack up three impressive victories.

Cabagnot sustained a depressed nasal fracture in their game against Meralco last December 28 and was advised by doctors to undergo surgery.

Nevertheless, he got the green light to play by agreeing to wear a protective face mask during games, and the 34-year-old has not missed a beat.

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SMB's championship experience evident in win vs. Ginebra (January 10, 2017)
Camille B. Naredo [ Source: ABS CBN News ]

 San Miguel's Arwind Santos (29) stretches for a lay-up in the fourth quarter of their game against Barangay Ginebra. Richard Esguerra, ABS-CBN Sports

MANILA, Philippines – They very nearly squandered a 10-point fourth-quarter lead, but when push came to shove, the San Miguel Beermen were able to draw from a deep well of experience and make a huge defensive stop against Barangay Ginebra.

Clinging to a 72-70 lead with 11 seconds to go, Arwind Santos contested LA Tenorio's floater that could have tied the game, and June Mar Fajardo was able to tip the loose ball to Ronald Tubid.

Tubid then proceeded to throw the ball to Santos, who evaded Ginebra's attempts to foul him and ran out the clock instead.

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Kings still searching for consistency after loss to Beermen (January 10, 2017)
Randolph B. Leongson [ Source: Inquirer ]

Ginebra's Japeth Aguilar challenging the defense of SMB's June Mar Fajardo. PBA IMAGES

Barangay Ginebra’s roller coaster ride this 2017 PBA Philippine Cup continues.

Alternating wins and losses through their first seven games, the Gin Kings have struggled to consistently churn out performances worthy of a winning streak.

Though there were positives like the way it performed against San Miguel on Sunday, the team still drew the short end of the stick, with the game ending in a 72-70 loss.

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Rain or Shine firepower too much for misfiring Phoenix (January 10, 2017)
Randolph B. Leongson [ Source: Inquirer ]

Phoenix head coach Ariel Vanguardia. PBA IMAGES

Phoenix played with fire and got burned.

Fuel Masters head coach Ariel Vanguardia admitted that going mano a mano with a deep Rain or Shine squad cost itself the game, losing the duel, 97-82, on Sunday.

“We gambled on them taking threes. The bad thing is they made them,” he said.

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Cabagnot: Defense won it for SMB over Ginebra (January 10, 2017)
Randolph B. Leongson [ Source: Inquirer ]

Aex Cabagnot (right) of SMB. PBA IMAGES

Known for its formidable offense, the two-time defending Philippine Cup champion San Miguel Beer proved that it can also pull off gritty wins through defense.

And that’s exactly how the Beermen did it in turning back Ginebra in a close 72-70 decision on Sunday in front of a loud Big Dome crowd.

Though the Beermen squandered a 10-point lead in the final three minutes, Alex Cabagnot noted that luckily, the team is more than just a high-octane offensive team.

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Rain or Shine's second unit shines anew (January 10, 2017)
Camille B. Naredo [ Source: ABS CBN News ]

 Rain or Shine's Ronnie Matias attempts a shot against the defense of Phoenix rookie Matthew Wright. Richard Esguerra, ABS-CBN Sports

MANILA, Philippines – Even without three key contributors -- Gabe Norwood, Jireh Ibañes, and Raymond Almazan -- the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters were still too much for a much-improved Phoenix squad to handle.

Almazan was still dealing with a calf injury and was expected to miss the game. Norwood's absence, however, was a surprise, with coach Caloy Garcia later revealing that the veteran guard is dealing with sore eyes.

Yet even without them, the Elasto Painters still came away with a comfortable 97-82 victory on Sunday in their PBA Philippine Cup game against the Fuel Masters.

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