SAN Miguel battled back from a double-digit deficit in the payoff period to turn back TnT Katropa, 107-96, and put together its first winning streak in the PBA Governors Cup Saturday night in Calasiao, Pangasinan.
Chris Ross, Marcio Lassiter, and import Kevin Murphy came through with clutch baskets down the stretch to rally the Beermen back after trailing by as many as 11, 86-75 early in the fourth quarter of a Petron Saturday Special game held at the Calasiao Sports Center.
Ross had five points in a searing 13-2 windup by the Beermen, including a booming three-pointer at the final 2:26 mark to put the team in front to stay, 98-92.
Murphy had four points during that telling run including two free throws to finish with 27 points, while coming off an assist shy of completing a triple-double with 10 rebounds and nine dish-off.
The Beermen won back-to-back games for the first time this conference to even their record at 4-4 and enhance their bid for a quarterfinals berth.
Christian Standhardinger continued his solid plays for San Miguel in lieu of the injured June Mar Fajardo as he contributed 21 points, Arwind Santos added 18, while the duo of Lassiter and Ross combined for 23.
The loss snapped the Katropa’s three-game winning run as they fell at 4-5 for a tie with NLEX at seventh to eighth places.
Import Marqus Blakely led the TnT charge with 26 points while sophomore guard Roger Pogoy had 21 and Terrence Romeo with 18.
Blakely’s basket off a spin move on Standhardinger gave the Katropa an 86-75 lead with 9:46 to play.
Then the roof caved in for TnT.
Big man Troy Rosario fouled out at the height of San Miguel’s rally, although the Katropa still held on for a 90-85 lead midway in the quarter on split free throw by Jericho Cruz.
San Miguel went to work from there, detonating the run that totally turned the tide on its favor as Ross scored underneath for the go-ahead basket, 91-90.
TnT suffered its first loss under newly-installed coach Bong Ravena and consultant Mark Dickel as the team continued to miss the services of injured star Jayson Castro.
San Miguel (107) - Murphy 27, Standhardinger 21, Santos 18, Lassiter 13, Ross 10, Cabagnot 6, De Ocampo 0, Heruela 0, Mamaril 0.
TNT (96) - Blakely 26, Pogoy 21, Romeo 18, Williams 11, Cruz 7, Trollano 6, Carey 4, Rosario 2, Garcia 1, Reyes 0, Paredes 0.
Quarterscores: 27-25; 50-54; 75-80; 107-96.