CHICAGO - The police in Bacolor, Pampanga, where the PBA Philippine Cup semi-bubble is being held, are looking for Marcio Lassiter.
He is suspected of arson in the burning down of Tropang Giga's hopes of making it to the finals. In the simmering flames lie the potential wreck of what would have been the glorious return to coaching of Chot Reyes.
Using only a pair of hot hands as an accelerant, Lassiter lit the DHVSU gym on fire with 19 points on 5-of-8 shooting from 3 and 7-of-14 overall.
The 6-foot-2, 185-pound Lassiter was unguardable. Let's just say he was outside the cellphone giant's coverage area.
San Miguel 103. TNT 90.
And just like that, we have a Game 7 between two of the league's bitter corporate rivals who dislike each other like China and Taiwan.
The Beermen were the better, more talented crew coming in. And that showed in today's Game 6, which was an uneasy, uncomfortable win-or-go-home threat for the SMC mothership.
But to borrow a James Bond flick, SMC had "No Time To Die."
June Mar Fajardo and Mo Tautuaa combined for 35 points and 19 rebounds, a brawny 1-2 punch that allowed San Miguel to dominate the boards, 59-45.
Terrence Romeo danced his way to 16 points and 6 assists while ageless Arwind Santos, who's still inflicting a lot of harm at 40, hooked up with Alex Cabagnot and C.J. Perez to combine for 30 points.
TOO BIG. TOO GOOD. TOO MUCH. Up by as many as 26 points - 84-58 with 42 ticks left in the third - San Miguel had 48 points in the paint against TNT's 26 and the Beermen hustled for more second-chance points, 24-14.
Chris Ross only had a meager 3 points on offense but he was the main irritant who helped force TNT into clanking 51 of their 79 field goals (35 percent) and 15 of their 27 threes (32 percent).
And when TNT revisits the Game 6 crime scene during tomorrow's film session, they'll quickly discover Lassiter's fingerprints all over the place. His 3 triples in the first 7:10 of the first quarter allowed San Miguel a 14-4 jump that turned out to be fatal.
Amazingly, a snipers-loaded TNT couldn't shoot themselves out of a pickle.
Mikey Williams, celebrated as a so-called "rookie sensation" and paid a lot of dough to shoot the lights out, continues to shoot himself in the foot, this time a 3-of-14 dud that included a hideous 0-for-6 on 2-point shot attempts.
A cold wind must have blown through the Tropang GIGA's locker room prior to tip off because the otherwise reliable R.R. Pogoy was similarly frigid with 6 points on 2-of-10 shooting that included an 0-for-4 fare from 3.
Troy Rosario and Kelly Williams also suffered through a bad connection and shot just a combined 6-of-24 from the field for a very light 15 points.
The way this series has gone, four consecutive blowouts so far, is making so-called analysts such as myself look dumb.
But I'm stubborn.
San Miguel in 7.
SNOW AND TELL. An appearance at Power and Play with Kom Noli Eala at Radyo5 92.3 FM and ONE PH (Cignal TV Ch 6) always excites me.
But I am especially giddy for tomorrow's episode because I will be joined by my good friend Snow Badua, the undisputed, pound-for-pound king of PBA scoops.
Our segment runs from 9:00 am to 9:25 am. We will talk about the PBA, the Japan B.League and the NBA.
So tune in and start your sports Saturday right.