KEEP a tight rein on those balloons in the rafters.
This PBA Finals ain't over.
San Miguel spoiled Alaska's party plans in Game Four, launching a brave fightback late in regulation before outduelling the Aces in overtime, 110-104, on Sunday night in the PBA Philippine Cup Finals at the Philsports Arena.
Alex Cabagnot shattered the last deadlock at 102-all with a big three-pointer, setting off a closing 8-2 spurt that enabled the Beermen to avoid being swept in a best-of-seven series for the first time in their long history.
“They accepted the challenge,” SMB coach Leo Austria said, heaving a sigh of relief after what was easily the most exciting game in the series. “Nakita natin 'yung heart of a champion.”
“This is what we’ve been waiting for: to get the breaks in the endgame,” he added.
The Beermen still trail 1-3 and still face the daunting task of pulling off the first successful comeback from a 0-3 deficit in PBA history, but they lived to fight in a Game 5 on Wednesday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
That thought appeared dim with four minutes left in regulation of Game 4, after a JVee Casio three-pointer gave Alaska an 11-point lead at 93-82 and enough reason to anticipate a title party.
The Beermen, though, went on a huge comeback to snatch the lead at 98-95 and could've won it outright in regulation had Cyrus Baguio not hit a game-tying three-pointer at the buzzer, 98-all.
Marcio Lassiter led the Beermen in scoring but it was Cabagnot, Chris Ross, and Arwind Santos who shone brightest down the stretch.
Cabagnot finished with 16 points, Chris Ross put up an all-around game of 11 points, 11 boards, nine assists, and two steals, while Santos added 11 points, 12 boards, three blocks, three steals, and two assists.
Vic Manuel showed the way for Alaska in a losing effort, but fould little help especially in overtime.
San Miguel 110 - Lassiter 26, Espinas 21, Cabagnot 16, Ross 11, Santos 11, Tubid 8, De Ocampo 6, Lutz 4, Reyes 4, Heruela 3, Arana 0, Omolon 0, Semerad 0.
Alaska 104 - Manuel 20, Abueva 14, Hontiveros 14, Casio 13, Banchero 12, Baguio 11, Thoss 9, Exciminiano 5, Jazul 4, Baclao 2, Dela Rosa 0, Menk 0.
Quarters: 20-28, 43-49, 69-77, 98-98, 110-104