THERE were neither comebacks nor an ultra-dominant performance by an import to weather this time. Only the constant was the sizzling shooting.
San Miguel Beer continued to ride the hot hands of its shooters as it repulsed Rain or Shine, 114-108, on Monday night to take a 2-1 lead in their PBA Governors’ Cup semifinal series at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
AZ Reid and Marcio Lassiter sustained their torrid outside shooting, while Alex Cabagnot joined the fray and regained his Game One form for the Beermen, who limited ROS import Wendell Mckines to 39 points (15 in the second half) after exploding for 53 in Game Two.
In all, SMB made 18 of 27 shots from beyond the arc with Reid going for 7-of-10, Cabagnot 5-of-7, and Lassiter 4-of-6 from that distance.
As a result, the Beermen moved on the cusp of advancing to the finals and set up a rematch against Alaska, the same team they beat for the Philippine Cup championship.
“We’re able to adjust on what they did to us. Our zone defense worked,” Beermen coach Leo Austria said. “But the finals are not in the hands of any team.”
Reid finished with 37 points, including 11 in the payoff period, five assists, four boards, and three steals in 46 minutes, while Cabagnot, after contributing just four points in Game Two, tallied 26 markers, nine assists, five boards, and three steals.
Lassiter, who had a career-high 31 points off 10 triples in Game Two, chipped in 17 points, six boards, and three assists for the Beermen, who also drew a solid outing from June Mar Fajardo with 17 points and eight boards.
Paul Lee was steady for the Painters anew with 22 points, five assists, three boards, and one steal, but Mckines, after scattering 24 points in the first half, failed to get touches in the last two quarters in the face of another stifling zone defense.
Jeff Chan and Gabe Norwood took advantage, with Chan scoring eight of his 13 in the third, while the Norwood 10 of his 12 in the fourth mostly from three-point territory.
SMB 114 – Reid 37, Cabagnot 26, Lassiter 17, Fajardo 17, Tubid 8, Lutz 7, Santos 2, Ross 0, Omolon 0, Espinas 0
ROS 108 – McKines 39, Lee 22, Chan 13, Norwood 12, Tiu 10, Quinahan 5, Ibanes 2, Tang 2, Almazan 2, Cruz Jericho 1, Uyloan 0, Arana 0
Quarterscores: 26-27, 56-54, 89-82, 114-108