San Miguel foils Alaska's PBA Finals sweep, wins Game 4 in OT to extend series
MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – The San Miguel Beermen lived to fight another day as they foiled the Alaska Aces' bid for a sweep with a Game 4 win in overtime, 110-104, in the 2016 PBA Philippine Cup Finals on Sunday, January 24 at the PhilSports Arena in Pasig.
The defending champions are down 3-1 in the best-of-7 series and are looking to become the first team in PBA history to come back from a 0-3 series deficit.
"This is what we are waiting for, to get a lot of breaks in the endgame," said head coach Leo Austria, who admitted he can finally get some sleep and breathe for now. "I told them in the last 3 games we didn't have good breaks."
"I have to give credit to all the players, they accepted the challenged. Ayaw nilang ma-walis nitong Alaska (They did not want to get swept by Alaska). I think they gave us some space to breathe, and I think next game we'll focus again," added Austria as he expressed hope for the series despite the deficit.
"You can never know what will happen. I told them before the game, a miracle is just around the corner."
Marcio Lassiter came off the bench and led the Beermen with a conference-high 26 points on 9-of-24 shooting from the field and 5 3-pointers. He also had 6 rebounds.
Gabby Espinas, who fouled out at the 3:45 mark of overtime, finished with a double-double of 21 points and 14 rebounds off the bench as well. Alex Cabagnot contributed 16 points, 8 rebounds, 3 assists and 3 steals, while Arwind Santos had 11 markers and 12 boards.
Chris Ross flirted with the triple-double scoring 11 points, grabbing 11 rebounds, and dishing out 9 assits on top of two steals.
This is the first time the Beermen defeated the Aces this conference. They are without reigning back-to-back MVP and newly crowned Best Player of the Conference June Mar Fajardo.
San Miguel rallied from an 11-point deficit with 3:31 left in the fourth quarter, mounting a slow and steady 16-2 run to lead 98-95 in the dying seconds.
But Cyrus Baguio buried a cold-blooded 3-pointer at the buzzer to tie the game at 98 and force overtime.
Vic Manuel scored 4 straight points to open the extra session for a 102-98 Alaska advantage.
However, San Miguel went on a 9-0 counter-rally highlighted by Cabagnot's go-ahead triple from the top of the key and a Yancy De Ocampo basket, 107-102, inside the final minute to seal the victory.
The Aces, whom the Beermen defeated twice to win two titles last season, had 6 players in double figures led by the team's top scorer Vic Manuel with his 20 points and 13 rebounds.
Calvin Abueva and Dondon Hontiveros had 14 markers each. Abueva, who fouled out with 5.4 seconds left in the fourth, added 7 rebounds. JVee Casio chipped in 13 points, 4 rebounds and 4 assists. But he also registered 3 turnovers, two of which were crucial ones inside the final minute of regulation and of overtime.
Chris Banchero had 12 points and 8 rebounds, while Baguio finished with 11 markers, 6 boards and 4 dimes.
Game 5 of this series is on Wednesday, January 27. (SCHEDULE: 2016 PBA Philippine Cup Finals – Alaska vs San Miguel)
San Miguel (110): Lassiter 26, Espinas 21, Cabagnot 16, Ross 11, Santos 11, Tubid 8, De Ocampo 6, Lutz 4, Reyes 4, Heruela 3, Arana 0, Omolon 0, Semerad 0.
Alaska (104): Manuel 20, Abueva 14, Hontiveros 14, Casio 13, Banchero 12, Baguio 11, Thoss 9, Exciminiano 5, Jazul 4, Baclao 2, Dela Rosa 0, Menk 0.
Quarter scores: 20-28, 43-49, 69-77, 98-98, 110-104.
San Miguel coach Leo Austria after his team's comeback
San Miguel coach Leo Austria after his team's comebackPosted by Naveen K. Ganglani on Sunday, 24 January 2016