San Miguel escapes pesky TNT to advance to semis
MANILA, Philippines – San Miguel reasserted its mastery over rival TNT, 106-102, to sweep their best-of-3 quarterfinals series at the Araneta Coliseum on Wednesday, July 11, and advance to the semifinals of the 2018 PBA Commissioner's Cup.
The 6th seed Beermen had just enough gas left in the tank to fend off the 3rd seed KaTropa and set up a best-of-5 semifinals date with the second seed Alaska Aces.
Renaldo Balkman topscored for San Miguel anew by scattering 25 points, highlighted by 4 straight made free throws that gave the Beermen a 102-98 lead right after TNT knotted the score off a Jayson Castro triple with two minutes remaining.
The KaTropa had plenty of chances to narrow the gap but 4 consecutive free throws from June Mar Fajardo and Chris Ross secured the win for the Beermen.
Alex Cabagnot backstopped the Puerto Rican import, who also had 8 rebounds and 4 assists, with an all-around effort of 21 points, 6 rebounds and 6 assists while Fajardo added a double-double of 19 points, 12 rebounds and 4 steals.
Terrence Romeo had his best game in a TNT uniform with 28 points, 8 assists and 5 steals but airballed the triple that would have given the KaTropa the lead with 24 seconds remaining.
Joshua Smith finished with 21 points and 18 rebounds while Anthony Semerad chipped in 19 points, 5 rebounds and two steals in the losing effort.
San Miguel (106): Balkman 25, Cabagnot 21, Fajardo 19, Lassiter 13, Ross 11, Nabong 9, Santos 8, Ganuelas-Rosser 0, Heruela 0
TNT (102): Romeo 28, Smith 21, Semerad 19, Rosario 11, Castro 7, Pogoy 6, Williams 6, Trollano 3, Taha 1, Carey 0, Reyes 0
Quarter scores: 27-32, 55-56, 80-77, 106-102