SAN Miguel Beer brought its best with its title-retention bid on the line as it outclassed Barangay Ginebra, 101-72, on Sunday night to forge a winner-take-all match in their PBA Governors’ Cup semifinal series.
The Beermen went on a hot start and never looked back as they coasted to the Game Four victory against the Gin Kings in front of a sellout crowd of 22,196 fans at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
Marcio Lassiter sparked the blowout with his torrid shooting as the SMB sniper knocked down seven three-pointers overall to finish with 25 points for the Beermen, who lived up to their reputation as the real comeback kings.
“They’ve been into this situation before,” SMB coach Leo Austria said of his team, which authored the greatest comeback in league history in the last Philippine Cup finals where the Beermen overcame a three-game deficit vs Alaska.
“They were really focused coming in… and I’m so thankful we evened the series,” he added. “It’s a treat to the fans.”
The deciding game is on Tuesday night also at the Big Dome.
Lassiter fired 14 of his output in the second quarter, where the Beermen outscored the Gin Kings, 25-7, to break away and enjoy leads that ballooned to 33 points.
June Mar Fajardo had more touches this time and took advantage as the reigning MVP posted 17 points on 15 attempts and 16 boards in 34 minutes as import Elijah Millsap deferred to him more.
Millsap finished with 13 points as he did most of his work on the boards as he collared 17 rebounds and added four assists, two blocks, and one steal in 31 minutes.
Alex Cabagnot, Arwind Santos, and Chris Ross also delivered for the Beermen as Austria had the luxury to extend his rotation.
Justin Brownlee and LA Tenorio led the Gin Kings, but found little help from their teammates.
SMB 101 – Lassiter 25, Fajardo 17, Cabagnot 13, Millsap 13, Santos 13, Ross 9, Arana 3, De Ocampo 2, Espinas 2, Heruela 2, Mabulac 2, David 0, Reyes 0, Semerad 0, Tubid 0
GIN 72 – Brownlee 28, Tenorio 17, Devance 6, Cruz 5, Caguioa 4, Marcelo 4, Helterbrand 3, Bonifacio 2, Salva 2, Aguilar 1, Mariano 0, Mercado 0, Thompson 0
Quarterscores: 30-22, 55-29, 82-52, 101-72