Beermen stay alive, force Game 7 vs KaTropa
June Mar Fajardo had a huge double-double and San Miguel Beer staved off elimination after beating TNT to force a Game 7 in the 2017 PBA Philippine Cup semifinals Saturday night at Mall of Asia Arena.
Fajardo, the three-time PBA MVP, posted 23 points, 21 rebounds and four blocks to notch his 11th career 20-20 game, the most in league history among locals.
“We had a good fourth quarter because we gained momentum at the end of the third quarter,” said SMB head coach Leo Austria.
Down by 12 in the third quarter with its season on the line, San Miguel responded with a 21-4 blast to regain the lead for good heading into the final frame.
With momentum on their side, the Beermen went on a another run behind Fajardo, who scored nine points in the fourth quarter alone, to pull away from a two-point game.
A jumper by Fajardo made it, 86-75, before another basket by the Cebuano giant put the game away, 96-82, with only 2:13 remaining.
Jayson Castro led TNT with 19 points but he only had two points in the fourth period while Roger Pogoy and Larry Fonacier each had 12.
The KaTropa, coming off a 101-94 victory in Game 5 on Thursday, didn’t have the services of their star forward Troy Rosario, who missed the game due to his wedding.
Arwind Santos also shone with 21 points and nine rebounds while Alex Cabagnot and Chris Ross added 19 and 14 points, respectively for the Beermen, who had 22 second chance points as to the KaTropa’s 11.
Game 7 is on Monday night also at MOA Arena.