SAN Miguel Beer proved it can also win a close battle against Alaska as the Beermen scraped past the Aces, 103-95, to take a commanding 2-0 lead in the PBA Governors’ Cup Finals on Sunday night at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
Coming off a 30-point blowout win in Game One, the Beermen survived an expected fightback by Aces, overhauling a late six-point deficit to prevail anew and tighten their grip on the best-of-seven series.
Marcio Lassiter and AZ Reid hit the biggest baskets down the stretch for the Beermen, who climbed out of a 93-87 hole with a back-breaking 16-2 salvo to finish the game.
“We thought matatalo na kami because of the adjustments they made, but fortunately we have Marcio,” Beermen coach Leo Austria said.
Game Three is on Wednesday also at the Big Dome.
Lassiter finished with 17 points that was built around five three-pointers, none bigger than the last two – the first that trimmed the gap to just 95-93 and the other from the left corner that gave the Beermen the lead for good at 98-95 with exactly a minute left.
The two triples sandwiched a tough floater by Reid that knotted the count and highlighted his 37-point effort that went with seven assists, five steals, and two boards against five turnovers.
Newly minted Best Player of the Conference June Mar Fajardo proved a steady force down low once again, posting 16 points, 14 boards, and two blocks.
Romeo Travis registered a team-high 23 points and 11 boards after being adjudged the conference’s Best Import, but missed a contested a layup and a three-pointer in the endgame that could’ve inched the Aces closer.
The Aces were poised to equalize the series as they enjoyed an 85-76 cushion following back-to-back triples by RJ Jazul and Calvin Abueva, before the Beermen embarked on that telling run to turn the game around.
SMB actually finished the game with 13 unanswered points.
SMB 103 – Reid 37, Lassiter 17, Fajardo 16, Cabagnot 13, Ross 6, Lutz 5, Santos 4, Tubid 3, Semerad 2, Espinas 0
ALASKA 95 – Travis 23, Thoss 14, Abueva 13, Casio 11, Banchero 10, Baguio 10, Dela Rosa 6, Jazul 6, Manuel 2, Exciminiano 0, Hontiveros 0, Eman 0, Dela Cruz 0
Quarterscores: 28-24, 47-44, 73-73, 103-95