Surging San Miguel survives TNT in heated matchup
San Miguel Beer overcame a tense affair and took down TNT, 99-94, to move into a tie in fourth place in the 2018 PBA Commissioner’s Cup Saturday at Mall of Asia Arena.
The game saw four players get ejected. TNT’s Terrence Romeo and San Miguel’s Marcio Lassiter got tossed after they got into a verbal spat late in the first half.
Beermen forward Arwind Santos and KaTropa’s Anthony Semerad were also thrown out of the game, this time in the fourth quarter, after the two exchanged elbows during a scuffle.
“I give my salute to Arwind and Marcio because they showed that they will give their all for the team and they will go into a rumble if necessary,” said Beermen head coach Leo Austria.
The Beermen won their fourth game in five matches to tie GlobalPort and Magnolia with identical 4-4 records.
Santos and Semerad’s ejections in the 7:36 mark of the fourth eventually became the turning point of the game and it was San Miguel that took the chance to run with it.
From an 83-83 during the ejection, the Beermen staged a 14-5 run that Chris Ross capped off with a three-pointer for the 97-88 lead with 3:13 left.
Austria added they had to win their game against TNT to get into a stable position for a playoffs spot and eventually defend their Commissioner’s Cup title.
“This was a badly needed win and thankfully we were able to survive TNT,” said San Miguel head coach Leo Austria. “They [the KaTropa] know the importance of this game and they want to kick us out because if we’re out of the playoffs the other teams will have a chance to win the championship.”
Renaldo Balkman, who scored six points in the late-game run while blocking two shots, finished with a game-high 43 points, 15 boards, four assists, and six rejections to lead the Beermen.
Reigning four-time MVP June Mar Fajardo had 19 points, six rebounds, and two blocks while Alex Cabagnot added 12 points for San Miguel.
Joshua Smith led TNT with 26 points and 18 rebounds.
Get the hottest sports news straight into your inbox
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.