San Miguel escapes TNT in double OT to tie finals series

Delfin Dioquino

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San Miguel escapes TNT in double OT to tie finals series
The Beermen waste a 17-point lead but pull through when it mattered against the KaTropa

MANILA, Philippines – San Miguel had the breaks go its way in the endgame to hack out a 127-125 double overtime win over TNT in Game 2 of the 2019 PBA Commissioner’s Cup finals at the Araneta Coliseum on Wednesday, August 7.

Despite wasting a 17-point lead, the Beermen capitalized on the KaTropa missing from the free throw line when it mattered most and Terrence Jones getting ejected to level the best-of-seven affair at 1-1. 

TNT was primed to take a 2-0 series lead after leading 114-112 with 20 seconds left in the first overtime, but the KaTropa lost Jones following his second technical foul and saw Brian Heruela and Troy Rosario miss 4 straight foul shots.

Alex Cabagnot then sank a buzzer-beating layup to force a second extra period, where San Miguel relied on the efforts of June Mar Fajardo and Chris Ross to escape with the thrilling victory. 

Fajardo put the Beermen in front with a pair of free throws, 124-122, before Ross padded their lead behind a steal and a fastbreak layup with 17 seconds remaining. 

The KaTropa still had a chance to steal the win after Jayson Castro drained a triple, 125-127, but could not get the job done following back-to-back misses by Castro from rainbow country as time expired. 

Import Chris McCullough finished with 32 points, 22 rebounds, 7 assists, and 2 steals for the Beermen, while Terrence Romeo caught fire from deep with 29 points off 6 triples to go with 4 assists and 2 rebounds. 

Ross delivered 25 points, 6 rebounds, and 4 assists, Cabagnot chipped in 19 points, 7 assists, and 2 steals, while Fajardo added 12 points, 10 rebounds, and 2 steals. 

The loss put to waste a stellar performance from Rosario as he put up a career-high 34 points behind 8 triples and led their second-half surge after being limited to just 9 points through the first 3 quarters. 

Rosario knocked down 5 three-pointers in the 4th period, with none bigger than his shot that gave TNT a 103-101 advantage – a big turnaround from trailing 39-56 in the first half. 

Don Trollano – who had 14 points, 11 rebounds, and 3 steals – then sank a pullup jumper for a 105-101 lead, but Romeo frustrated the KaTropa by burying a triple to send the game to overtime. 

Jones had 28 points, 13 rebounds, 7 assists, 5 steals, and 3 blocks before getting tossed out for a technical foul on Ross, while Castro wound up with 27 points, 12 assists, and 8 rebounds in the heartbreaking loss. 

Game 3 is on Friday, August 9, at the same venue. 

The Scores

San Miguel 127 – McCullough 32, Romeo 29, Ross 25, Cabagnot 19, Fajardo 12, Standhardinger 7, Pessumal 2, Santos 1, Rosser 0.

TNT 125 – Rosario 34, Jones 28, Castro 27, Pogoy 17, Trollano 14, Heruela 5, Washington 0, Taha 0.

Quarters: 32-25, 59-45, 84-77, 106-106, 114-114, 127-125.

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Delfin Dioquino

Delfin Dioquino dreamt of being a PBA player, but he did not have the skills to make it. So he pursued the next best thing to being an athlete – to write about them. He took up journalism at the University of Santo Tomas and joined Rappler as soon as he graduated in 2017.