SAN Miguel Beer displayed resilience when it mattered as it frustrated Rain or Shine, 101-95, to take the early lead in their PBA Governors’ Cup semifinal series at the Smart-Araneta Colliseum.
The Beermen climbed from a deep 24-point hole in the first half behind a zone defense and resolute stand in the last two quarters to pull off the come-from-behind win in Game One.
Game Two of the best-of-five series is on Saturday also at the Big Dome.
“It’s unbelievable,” Beermen coach Leo Austria said. “It was a team effort.”
Alex Cabagnot and Arwind Santos sparked the comeback, combining for 24 points in the second half after AZ Reid, Marcio Lassiter, and June Mar Fajardo slowly ate up the Elasto Painters’ lead.
Wendell Mckines registered 33 points, but committed a crucial flagrant foul 1 late in the third quarter that seemed to be the turning point of the game.
The Painters were still ahead, 74-70, when Mckines hit Ronald Tubid at the back of the head with a minute and 19 seconds left in the third canto, a development that forced the ROS import to take a seat for the next three minutes and saw the Beermen grab a one-point lead heading into the fourth.
Everything seemed clicking for the Painters in the first half where they enjoyed a 43-19 cushion early in the second quarter.
But the Beermen turned the game around starting in the third quarter, where they outscored the Painters, 34-19, as they veered away from a man-to-man defense that the Painters attacked at will early on.
Reid flirted with a triple-double of 22 points, 13 boards, and eight assists in 39 minutes as the former ROS import also put the game to bed with a floater that made it the final score, while Lassiter added 22 points built around four triples.
Fajardo chipped in 20 markers, 10 rebounds, two assists, and one block.
SMB 101 – Lassiter 22, Reid 22, Fajardo 20, Cabagnot 15, Santos 13, Tubid 5, Lutz 2, Espinas 2, Ross 0
ROS 95 – McKines 33, Lee 19, Belga 12, Almazan 10, Ibanes 7, Chan 7, Uyloan 5, Tiu 2, Norwood 0, Cruz Jericho 0, Arana 0, Quinahan 0
Quarterscores: 19-34, 46-60, 80-79, 101-95