PBA: San Miguel fends off Rain or Shine to open semis series

PBA: San Miguel fends off Rain or Shine to open semis series

June Mar Fajardo leads San Miguel past Rain or Shine for a 1-0 lead in the PBA Philippine Cup semifinals

June Mar Fajardo leads San Miguel past Rain or Shine for a 1-0 lead in the PBA Philippine Cup semifinals. –MARLO CUETO/INQUIRER.net

San Miguel Beer hurdled the determined challenge of Rain or Shine to come away with a 101-98 victory and draw first blood in their best-of-seven semifinal series in the PBA Philippine Cup Friday at Mall of Asia Arena.

June Mar Fajardo produced another double-double, Marcio Lassiter waxed hot from the outside in the first half while Don Trollano and Terrence Romeo were key contributors to help the Beermen take the opener against the underdog Elasto Painters.

But with Rain or Shine making good on its promise to give everything it all despite longshot odds, San Miguel needed some endgame stops to avoid a stunning setback.

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READ: PBA: Rain or Shine won’t make things easy for San Miguel

Chris Ross made two steals that kept San Miguel afloat, then had to force Rain or Shine guard Andrei Caracut to launch a three from the logo that didn’t hit the mark in the dying moments of the contest.

Game 2 is set Sunday at the same venue with the Beermen looking to make it two in a row.

Fajardo finished with 23 points and 11 rebounds while adding five assists and three blocks for San Miguel.

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READ: PBA: Tough Terrafirma series ‘good grind’ for San Miguel ahead of semis

Lassiter scored 16 points on four triples, edging closer to overtaking Barangay Ginebra’s LA Tenorio for third on the all-time career three-pointers list. He is two shy of tying Tenorio as of posting time.

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Trollano had 17 and Romeo posted 14, even as CJ Perez chipped in 13 points, seven rebounds and three assists.

Gian Mamuyac, the hero of Wednesday’s deciding Game 3 quarterfinal victory over TNT, had 20 points, seven rebounds, three assists and two steals for the losing Rain or Shine side.

Beau Belga scored 17 spiked by four triples, including one that put Rain or Shine up 55-53 in the third. It was the Elasto Painters’ last lead before the Beermen took command despite a tight encounter until the end.

PBA scores:

SAN MIGUEL 101—Fajardo 23, Trollano 17, Lassiter 16, Romeo 14, Perez 13, Tautuaa 7, Brondial 6, Teng 3, Cruz 2, Ross 0, Enciso 0.

RAIN OR SHINE 98—Mamuyac 20, Belga 17, Clarito 13, Santillan 13, Caracut 9, Demusis 6, Datu 6, Borboran 5, Ildefonso 4, Asistio 3, Norwood 2, Nocum 0, Paredes 0.

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Quarters: 31-24, 49-44, 82-78, 101-98.

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