Petron closes out ROS, arranges Finals clash with San Mig Coffee
MANILA, Philippines — Petron Blaze rode on its blistering third quarter before fending off a Rain or Shine fightback to win, 110-89, in Game 4 of their semifinals series and book a ticket back to the finals in the 38th PBA Governors’ Cup Monday night at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Import Elijah Millsap and guard Alex Cabagnot teamed up in the pivotal third period — combining for 28 of their team’s 34 points — as the Boosters took a 25-point lead after starting the quarter on a 16-0 tear.
“I’m very, very happy for this win. Rain or Shine pushed us to our limits,” said Petron coach Gee Abanilla, whose team arranged a best-of-seven championship duel with San Mig Coffee.
Game 1 of the Finals is on Friday 8:00 pm at the Mall of Asia Arena.
The shorthanded Elasto Painters, who won the third conference title last year, refused to go down easily as they rallied to within 10, 79-89, on a three-pointer by Gabe Norwood at the 7:24 mark of the final frame.
But that was the closest ROS came as Petron got timely baskets from Cabagnot and swingman Marcio Lassiter, who had a career game at the three-point distance.
Millsap led the Boosters with 34 points. Lassiter erupted for his season-best 27 points on a career-best seven-of-10 shooting from downtown on top of 12 rebounds while Cabagnot added 23 points and eight assists.
“This is a team known for their comebacks.” It’s a good thing Marcio hit a lot of three-point shots,” said Abanilla, who reached the finals in just his first head coaching stint in the league. “Right now we’re living the dream but we can’t stop now. We have to keep on competing.”
“I just felt it. I just kept shooting. This is why I shoot in the gym,” said Lassiter.
Petron made 14 out of its 27 attempts from long range and five of those came in the last quarter.
Rain or Shine was the best team in the league at limiting its turnovers averaging just 14.3 per game but it wasn’t the case for the Painters in Game 4 as they committed 15 miscues in the first half alone and 21 overall.
Arizona Reid paced ROS with 41 points and majority of the time, he was the only one carrying his team at the offensive end with Paul Lee out and Jeff Chan spraining his left ankle early in the second period. Reid also grabbed 16 rebounds.
Petron and San Mig Coffee will meet in the Finals for the first time since the 2000 Governors’ Cup when the Boosters, then known as the San Miguel Beermen won, 4-1, over Purefoods.
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