San Miguel storms back to take 2-0 lead vs Phoenix
MANILA, Philippines – San Miguel battled back from a lethargic start before gutting it out in the endgame to edge Phoenix for a 2-0 lead in the 2019 PBA Philippine Cup semifinals at the Araneta Coliseum on Monday, April 15.
June Mar Fajardo put up 19 points, 18 rebounds and 3 blocks while Marcio Lassiter fired a game-high 24 points to power the Beermen to a come-from-behind 92-82 triumph in the best-of-seven affair.
Buried by as much as 12 points, San Miguel slowly chiseled away at Phoenix's lead before knotting a score at 63-all heading into the final frame.
It was a dogfight in the payoff period with both teams trading buckets until Lassiter gave the Beermen an 84-80 lead with a resounding three-pointer with two minutes left.
Fajardo then extended San Miguel's lead with a pair of free throws as Lassiter scored another 4 straight points to seal the win.
Although now two wins away from reaching the finals, Beermen head coach Leo Austria does not want his wards to relax.
"0-2 is not assurance to win the series," he said. "We should prepare hard for the third game."
Romeo had 14 points, Alex Cabagnot and Von Pessumal chipped in 8 points apiece while Chris Ross and Arwind Santos added 7 points each in the win that saw their teammate Christian Standhardinger tossed out.
Standhardinger was whistled for a disqualifying foul for an inadvertent hit on Calvin Abueva's face with 6 minutes left in the first half. He finished with 2 points and 4 rebounds in 9 minutes of play.
Abueva paced the Fuel Masters with team-highs of 16 points, 10 rebounds, 6 assists, 3 steals and 2 blocks but committed 7 turnovers and fouled out with a minute left to play.
Matthew Wright delivered 13 points while Justin Chua, RJ Jazul and Jason Perkins chimed in 12 points each in the losing effort.
Both teams will get a week of break before tangling again in Game 3 on Sunday, April 21, at the same venue.
San Miguel 92 - Lassiter 24, Fajardo 19, Romeo 14, Cabagnot 8, Pessumal 8, Santos 7, Ross 7, Tubid 3, Standhardinger 2, Rosser 0, Nabong 0,
Phoenix 82 - Abueva 16, Wright 13, Perkins 12, Chua 12, Jazul 12, Mallari 8, Intal 4, Marcelo 2, Kramer 2, Mendoza 1.
Quarters: 13-21, 37-46, 63-63, 92-82.
The extra mile
We are passionate about sports. Whether its a university, local, or international event, we aim to always to go above and beyond with our news, features, and analysis.
However, reader support powers our content. We ask you to take on the extra mile with us.
By joining Rappler PLUS, you will receive special editorial newsletters, industry reports, and invites to exclusive briefings.
But more than that, you will enable us to continue telling more stories.
Make your move now. Join Rappler PLUS.