All-Filipino San Miguel trips Rain or Shine, extends semis series
Without an import, San Miguel found its old groove and kept its conference alive with a gutsy 104-98 win over Rain or Shine, extending its best-of-5 semifinals series in the 2016 Oppo PBA Commissioner’s Cup Thursday at Philsports Arena.
Marcio Lassiter regained his shooting touch, going 5-of-8 from threes to finish with a series-best 30 points, alongside five rebounds and four steals.
Alex Cabagnot ignited the huge third quarter rally for San Miguel, dropping 13 of his 28 markers in that period that went along with six assists and five rebounds, while Arwind Santos stepped up and recorded his best game yet with 18 points and seven rebounds.
June Mar Fajardo added 13 markers and nine boards in the morale-boosting win for the Beermen.
Coach Leo Austria took responsibility for choosing not to field Tyler Wilkerson, who had post-game tantrums after the Beermen’s 98-96 Game 2 defeat on Tuesday.
“It’s my decision to not let our import play,” he said. “We’re lucky na nanalo kami ngayon kung hindi baka kasali na kami sa Boracay.”
Austria said the Beermen is bringing back former Best Import Arizona Reid to replace Wilkerson starting game 4.
Jericho Cruz topped Rain or Shine with 25 points, nine rebounds, and four steals, while Paul Lee had 11 in the defeat.
Game 4 is on Sunday at Smart Araneta Coliseum.
SAN MIGUEL 104 – Lassiter 30, Cabagnot 28, Santos 18, Fajardo 13, Espinas 5, De Ocampo 4, David 3, Ross 2, Arana 1, Heruela 0, Tubid 0.
RAIN OR SHINE 98 – Cruz 25, Lee 15, Ahanmisi 12, Quinahan 11, Chan 8, Almazan 7, Henderson-Niles 7, Belga 5, Norwood 4, Ponferrada 4, Ibanes 0, Tiu 0.
Quarters: 27-31, 51-53, 80-70, 104-98.