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Coach Leo Austria was thankful for one defensive gem at the finish that made up for the San Miguel Beermen’s poor defense all game long.

“We’re not able to execute our defensive game plan. We’re relaxed after our back-to-back wins. It’s good we’re able make one big stoppage at endgame,” said Austria after barely withstanding NorthPort, 114-107, at the Cuneta Astrodome Wednesday night.

The Beermen were ahead by one possession, 110-107, when they broke the Batang Pier’s crucial throw-in which Chris Ross parlayed into two free throws to stretch their lead to five with time down to 1:04.

San Miguel then had another defensive stop and preserved the win that ensured the Beermen of at least a playoff crack at a quarterfinals entry in the PBA Governors Cup.

“Our game plan was to limit them below their average of 101 points, pero hindi nangyari,” rued Austria.