MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – San Miguel did not crumble in the endgame this time as the Beermen dispatched the Magnolia Hotshots, 92-77, in Game 2 of the 2018 PBA Philippine Cup finals at the Mall of Asia Arena on Sunday, March 25.
After squandering a 20-point lead in their 103-105 Game 1 loss, the Beermen kept their composure in the 4th quarter and withstood an inspired Magnolia comeback to even the best-of-7 duel at 1-1.
San Miguel had a comfortable 18-point cushion heading into the payoff period, 75-57, before the Hotshots scored 11 straight points to make it a 7-point game, 68-75, with more than 8 minutes left.
But the Beermen would not allow what happened in Game 1 to take place again as they went on a 10-0 spurt, sparked and capped by triples from Arwind Santos and Marcio Lassiter, to prevent the meltdown, 85-68.
Santos starred for the Beermen with 24 points, 8 rebounds, and two blocks, while Lassiter fired 16 points.
Alex Cabagnot made his presence felt with 15 points, 8 assists, and 5 rebounds. June Mar Fajardo chipped in a double-double of 12 points, 13 rebounds, 3 assists, and 3 blocks.
It was a toe-to-toe clash early with Magnolia trailing 17-19 after the maiden period before San Miguel broke the game wide open thanks to Lassiter’s 13 second-quarter points for a 48-35 halftime advantage.
San Miguel’s lead ballooned to as much as 21 points, 71-50, late in the 3rd frame until the Hotshots threatened a comeback.
“I think we’ve learned our lesson from the last game that we lost to Star. Almost the same thing, we’re able to lead 20 again or 21. Buti na lang 21, hindi 20 dahil last time, lumamang kami ng 20 points, hinabol nila,” said San Miguel head coach Leo Austria.
(I think we’ve learned our lesson from the last game that we lost to Star. Almost the same thing, we’re able to lead 20 again or 21. Fortunately, we led by 21 this time and not 20 since the last time we held a 20-point lead, they erased it.)
“I have to give credit to the players dahil talagang nakita ko sa kanila na ayaw magpatalo.”
(I have to give credit to the players because I saw that they did not want to lose.)
Mark Barroca paced the Hotshots with 18 points, 5 rebounds, and 3 assists, while Ian Sangalang, who exploded for 29 points in Game 1, was limited to 11 points.
The PBA will take a break for Holy Week before returning to action next Sunday, April 1, for Game 3 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
San Miguel (92): Santos 24, Lassiter 16, Cabagnot 15, Fajardo 12, Heruela 10, Ganuelas-Rosser 6, Ross 5, Mamaril 4, De Ocampo 0, Vigil 0
Magnolia (77): Barroca 18, Lee 13, Sangalang 11, Dela Rosa 7, Ramos 7, Jalalon 6, Pascual 4, Reavis 4, Brondial 3, Herndon 2, Simon 2, Mendoza 0
Quarter scores: 19-17, 48-35, 75-57, 92-77
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