PBA Philippine Cup

Clutch Lassiter, Perez treys stun Meralco as San Miguel ties PBA finals at 1-1

Martin Mendoza, Delfin Dioquino

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Clutch Lassiter, Perez treys stun Meralco as San Miguel ties PBA finals at 1-1
CJ Perez and Marcio Lassiter drain a pair of clutch three-pointers inside the final 25 seconds as San Miguel knots the PBA Philippine Cup finals against Meralco at 1-1

MANILA, Philippines – CJ Perez delivered his highest scoring performance of the season and Marcio Lassiter drained a clutch triple as San Miguel escaped Meralco, 95-94, to knot the PBA Philippine Cup finals at 1-1 at the Araneta Coliseum on Friday, June 7.

Perez exploded for a playoff career-high 34 points on top of 5 steals and 5 assists as he and Lassiter sank a pair of three-pointers inside the final 25 seconds to help the Beermen avoid a 0-2 hole in the best-of-seven series.

Lassiter scored just 6 points, but he preserved the efforts of Perez by draining the go-ahead triple with under 15 seconds that determined the final score. 

Cliff Hodge posted a season-high 25 points to go with 9 rebounds, but his performance went down the drain as the Bolts failed to protect a 93-89 lead with 30 seconds left.

Perez cut their deficit to 92-93 with a quick trey off a timeout before Lassiter gave San Miguel the lead after a fly by move on Bong Quinto.

Meralco still got a chance to regain the lead after that Lassiter shot only to witness Chris Banchero put too much force on his potential game-winning layup. 

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Full endgame trust in Perez, Lassiter as San Miguel knots PBA finals

Full endgame trust in Perez, Lassiter as San Miguel knots PBA finals
Fourth quarter
  • FINAL: CJ Perez misses his two free throws but San Miguel escapes with a 95-94 win
  • SAN MIGUEL 95-94: Marcio Lassiter fakes and buries the triple with 13 seconds left
  • MERALCO 94-92: Chris Banchero splits his freebies
  • MERALCO 93-92: CJ Perez answers with his own triple
  • MERALCO 93-89: Chris Banchero downs the cold-blooded trey with 25 ticks left
  • MERALCO 90-89: Bong Quinto floats it in
  • SAN MIGUEL 89-88: Jericho Cruz finishes
  • MERALCO 88-87: CJ Perez layup is good
  • MERALCO 88-85: Bong Quinto drains a pair of pressure-packed freebies with 2:14 left
  • MERALCO 86-85: Don Trollano completes the fast break
  • MERALCO 86-83: Don Trollano putback
  • MERALCO 86-81: Chris Banchero floater over June Mar Fajardo
  • MERALCO 84-81: June Mar Fajardo 1/2 at the line
  • MERALCO 84-80: Cliff Hodge shakes off Mo Tautuaa and scores
  • MERALCO 82-80: Chris Newsome makes his foul shots
  • 80-80: Brandon Bates off the glass
  • SAN MIGUEL 80-78: Jericho Cruz drains the technical free throw
  • SAN MIGUEL 79-78: 9-0 run for the Beermen as Mo Tautuaa sinks his free throws
  • MERALCO 78-77: June Mar Fajardo hook shot
  • MERALCO 78-75: Mo Tautuaa and-one
  • MERALCO 78-72: CJ Perez with the lucky roll
  • MERALCO 78-70: Norbert Torres for three
  • MERALCO 75-70: Mo Tautuaa splits his free throws
  • MERALCO 75-69: Brandon Bates scores off a Chris Banchero pass
Third quarter
  • END OF 3Q: Strong finish to the third quarter as Meralco mounts a 73-69 lead
  • MERALCO 73-69: June Mar Fajardo one-handed flush
  • MERALCO 73-67: Norbert Torres with his first points
  • MERALCO 71-67: Chris Ross bank shot
  • MERALCO 71-65: Chris Banchero with the easy layup
  • MERALCO 69-65: Allein Maliksi trey extends an 11-1 run
  • MERALCO 66-65: June Mar Fajardo 1/2 at the line
  • MERALCO 66-64: Cliff Hodge posts up CJ Perez and scores
  • 64-64: Chris Newsome buries the corner trey
  • SAN MIGUEL 64-61: Bong Quinto completes the three-point play
  • SAN MIGUEL 64-58: Marcio Lassiter hits the long bomb
  • SAN MIGUEL 61-58: Bong Quinto ends his scoreless drought
  • SAN MIGUEL 61-56: Cliff Hodge drains his freebies
  • SAN MIGUEL 61-54: CJ Perez turns a steal to a layup
  • SAN MIGUEL 59-54: CJ Perez from long range
  • SAN MIGUEL 56-54: Rodney Brondial sinks the basket plus the foul
  • 54-54: Chris Newsome with the step-through move
  • SAN MIGUEL 54-52: Chris Newsome 2/2 at the stripe
  • SAN MIGUEL 54-50: CJ Perez spins and scores
  • SAN MIGUEL 52-50: Cliff Hodge off a Raymond Almazan drop pass
  • SAN MIGUEL 52-48: Chris Ross and-one
Second quarter
  • HALFTIME: Chris Banchero beats the halftime buzzer, but San Miguel still leads, 49-48
  • SAN MIGUEL 49-46: June Mar Fajardo with the reverse layup
  • SAN MIGUEL 47-46: Cliff Hodge again
  • SAN MIGUEL 47-44: Easy deuce for Jericho Cruz
  • SAN MIGUEL 45-44: Cliff Hodge 1/2 at the line
  • SAN MIGUEL 45-43: Don Trollano layup
  • 43-43: Cliff Hodge carrying the scoring load for Meralco
  • SAN MIGUEL 43-41: Kyle Pascual banks it off the glass
  • SAN MIGUEL 43-39: Don Trollano soars for the fast break layup
  • SAN MIGUEL 41-39: Don Trollano 2/2 with his charity shots
  • 39-39: Cliff Hodge reverse layup
  • SAN MIGUEL 39-37: CJ Perez for three
  • MERALCO 37-35: Chris Banchero makes his foul shots
  • SAN MIGUEL 36-35: CJ Perez sells the fake for the easy deuce
  • MERALCO 35-34: Don Trollano converts the June Mar Fajardo dime
  • MERALCO 35-32: CJ Perez lets it fly from downtown
  • MERALCO 35-29: Brandon Bates inside off a Raymar Jose pass
  • MERALCO 33-29: Mo Tautuaa scores off a pick and roll
  • MERALCO 33-27: Fouled on a three-pointer, Chris Newsome sinks all three free throws
  • MERALCO 30-27: CJ Perez with another pair of freebies
  • MERALCO 30-25: CJ Perez 2/2 at the line
  • MERALCO 30-23: Jansen Rios with his second trey
  • MERALCO 27-23: Cliff Hodge makes his two free throws
  • MERALCO 25-23: CJ Perez hits the floater
  • MERALCO 25-21: Allein Maliksi knocks down a triple
First quarter
  • END OF 1Q: Jansen Rios beats the buzzer with triple as Meralco takes a 22-21 lead
  • SAN MIGUEL 21-19: Cliff Hodge banks it in
  • SAN MIGUEL 21-17: Allein Maliksi drains a pair of freebies
  • SAN MIGUEL 21-15: Mo Tautuaa scores a layup
  • SAN MIGUEL 19-15: Anjo Caram from deep
  • SAN MIGUEL 19-12: Jeron Teng steps back for the jumper
  • SAN MIGUEL 17-12: Cliff Hodge making his presence felt for Meralco
  • SAN MIGUEL 17-10: June Mar Fajardo again
  • SAN MIGUEL 15-10: Cliff Hodge jumper is good
  • SAN MIGUEL 15-8: June Mar Fajardo short stab
  • SAN MIGUEL 13-8: Chris Banchero finishes the fast break
  • SAN MIGUEL 13-6: CJ Perez for three
  • SAN MIGUEL 10-6: CJ Perez with another layup
  • SAN MIGUEL 8-6: June Mar Fajardo sinks his foul shots
  • 6-6: June Mar Fajardo ties it off a CJ Perez assist
  • MERALCO 6-4: CJ Perez 1/2 at the stripe
  • MERALCO 6-3: Chris Newsome hits
  • MERALCO 4-3: June Mar Fajardo splits his free throws
  • MERALCO 4-2: Cliff Hodge underneath
  • 2-2: CJ Perez strong attack
  • MERALCO 2-0: Chris Banchero flips it in
  • MERALCO: Chris Banchero, Chris Newsome, Raymond Almazan, Bong Quinto, Cliff Hodge
  • SAN MIGUEL: Chris Ross, CJ Perez, June Mar Fajardo, Rodney Brondial, Marcio Lassiter

If Game 1 is any indication, the Meralco Bolts are no longer heavy underdogs in the PBA Philippine Cup finals. 

After pulling off a 93-86 upset over the San Miguel Beermen in the series opener, Meralco shoots for a 2-0 lead in Game 2 of their best-of-seven finals on Friday, June 7, at the Araneta Coliseum. 

Going up against a well-rested, powerhouse San Miguel squad led by seven-time PBA MVP June Mar Fajardo, the Bolts got the job done on the defensive end in Game 1, becoming the first team to hold the Beermen to under 90 points this conference. 

Although Fajardo still managed to finish with his usual scoring numbers of 23 points on an efficient 7-of-10 shooting, the Gilas Pilipinas big man was held to only 5 markers in the crucial fourth quarter.  

With San Miguel already missing the services of its star guard Terrence Romeo due to a calf injury, Meralco also put the clamps on other key Beermen players such as Don Trollano and Jericho Cruz, who combined for just 14 points on a lowly 5-of-17 field goal clip.

On the offensive side, it was also a collective effort from the Bolts as four players scored in double figures, with Chris Newsome and Chris Banchero leading the way with 18 apiece, followed by 15 each from Bong Quinto and Allein Maliksi. 

Still, the Bolts know they still have a long series ahead against the mighty Beermen, who are gunning for back-to-back Philippine Cup titles and a sweep of the two championships in Season 48.  

“Winning Game 1 is always a big help, but by no means are we happy or satisfied. It’s just one game,” said Newsome.

“You can look back at our last series against Ginebra, they won Game 1 and we ended up winning the series. It doesn’t necessarily mean because we won Game 1, we won the series. There’s so much work that has to be done.”

Game time is 7:30 pm. – Rappler.com 

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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.