Beermen bounce back, take 2-1 semis lead over Elastopainters
San Miguel Beer rebounded from its collapse two nights ago with a 114-108 squeaker over Rain or Shine for a 2-1 lead in their 2015 PBA Governors’ Cup semifinals series Monday night at Smart Araneta Coliseum.
The Beermen repeatedly repelled rallies from the Elasto Painters in the fourth quarter behind the efforts of their import Arizona Reid and starting guard Alex Cabagnot.
“I think the reason why we won against Rain or Shine we’re able to adjust on what they did to us in our last game,” said SMB head coach Leo Austria. “Our zone defense worked and I’m happy to see Alex (Cabagnot) back in his old form and I think he was the key especially in the first half.
“AZ doesn’t want to lose and you can see it in his eyes,” said Austria. [Last game was] very frustrating. We were leading by 20 points and they beat us with the last shot. But we were able to set that aside and we know it’s already a thing of the past.”
Reid had 37 points, five assists and three steals while Cabagnot added 26 points, five rebounds and nine assists.
Wendell McKines scored a game-high 39 points after dropping a franchise-best 53 points in the Elasto Painters’ 113-110 victory in Game 2 Saturday night.
McKines was on pace for another 50-point outing after scoring 24 points in the first half but the Beermen did a better job of defending him in the second half.
San Miguel Beer took an 89-79 lead late in the third quarter before Rain or Shine pulled to within one, 100-99, with 6:23 left after back-to-back 3-pointers by Gabe Norwood.
But Reid just wouldn’t let his team go down for the second straight time. He took matters into his own hands and was responsible for the Beermen’s next 10 points in a four-minute span.
He hit a triple, scored on post-up plays against Norwood and dished on a Cabagnot 3-pointer for a 110-101 lead with 2:14 remaining.
The Beermen aim to close out the Painters in Game 4 on Wednesday and set up another best-of-seven finals showdown with the Alaska Aces. Alaska swept defending champion Star Sunday night to move on to the championship round.
San Miguel Beer outlasted Alaska in seven games to win the 2015 Philippine Cup crown. CFC