Hot shooting propels SMB to 1-0 lead over TNT
MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – The San Miguel Beermen connected on 16-of-26 3-pointers to get a head start against the TNT KaTropa, 111-98, in Game 1 of the best-of-7 semifinals in the 2017 PBA Philippine Cup on Wednesday, February 8, at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
The defending champions, who have lost only one game in the conference so far, quickly raced to a double-digit advantage in the first quarter and went on to lead by as much as 18.
"They're playing like an orchestra, they know what the others are supposed to be doing," said head coach Leo Austria, who is confident his team is ready for the long grind of a best-of-7 series.
Marcio Lassiter paced San Miguel with 22 points on 4-of-7 shooting from deep. He also had 8 rebounds, 5 assists, two steals, and a block in an all-around game.
Reigning 3-time MVP June Mar Fajardo had 21 markers and 8 boards while Alex Cabagnot poured 20 points and 6 rebounds.
Arwind Santos and Gabby Espinas added 15 and 13 points, respectively.
Jayson Castro hit a game-high 27 markers for TNT on 11-of-17 shooting on top of his 8 assists. He got ample support from veteran Kelly Williams, who played vintage basketball on his way to 24 big points off the bench.
Mo Tautuaa and Matt Ganuelas-Rosser combined for 21 markers as TNT struggled to contain San Miguel and at the same time had to bleed for its own points.
Game 2 of this series is on Friday, February 10.
SMB (111): Lassiter 22, Fajardo 21, Cabagnot 20, Santos 15, Espinas 13, Garcia 9, Tubid 6, Ross 5, McCarthy 0, Agovida 0, Y. De Ocampo 0.
TNT (98): Castro 27, Williams 24, Tautuaa 11, Ganuelas-Rosser 10, R. De Ocampo 7, Fonacier 7, Pogoy 6, Reyes 4, Seigle 2, Rosario 0, Carey 0, Golla 0, Sumalinog 0, Rosales 0,.
Quarter scores: 32-16, 56-46, 83-73, 111-98.