MANILA, Philippines – San Miguel outscored Barangay Ginebra 25-7 in the second quarter and it never became close as the Beermen tore apart the Gin Kings, 101-72, to force a deciding game 5 in the 2016 PBA Governors' Cup semifinals Sunday, October 2, at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Ginebra was left deflated after a scoreless first 8 minutes in the second period where Marcio Lassiter took full advantage with 6-of-7 triples for 20 points in the first half.
A manageable 30-22 edge easily became a daunting 55-29 mountain of a lead at the break. But even then, San Miguel, which came out strong with a quick 15-8 start, never relaxed offensively and defensively until the final buzzer.
"With Ginebra you cannot be sure what will happen," said head coach Leo Austria, who never pulled back his starters to the very end to ensure the victory.
"I think his sense of urgency prevailed," he added of Lassiter. Austria shared his veteran marksman was silent and laser-focused in the locker room like the rest of his team.
Lassiter finished with a team-high 25 points, with 14 in the second period, on top of 5 rebounds and 4 assists.
June Mar Fajardo scattered 17 points and pulled down 16 rebounds with two assists, while Alex Cabagnot, Elijah Millsap, and Arwind Santos had 13 points each. Millsap and Santos added 17 and 9 rebounds, respectively.
"I hope this momentum will carry our team to have a good start [for game 5]," Austria said.
Justin Brownlee and LA Tenorio were the only bright spots for Ginebra with 28 and 17 points, respectively. Not one Gin King dominated the rebounding as the Beermen gained a huge 66-44 advantage on the glass.
Rookie Scottie Thompson was scoreless coming off his first triple-double performance in the PBA during game 3. Sol Mercado likewise missed all 6 of his attempts as Japeth Aguilar, last game's hero, had only a point with two rebounds and two assists. Aguilar also bricked 6 shots.
Ginebra was a paltry 17-of-57 from the field and although San Miguel had 21 turnovers, the Gin Kings failed to capitalize and got just 10 points off it. The Beermen, however, milked 16 points out of their foe's 11 miscues.
Ginebra never tasted the lead.
"They played well and they just beat us up. I think we were worn out after game 3 and I sensed it in practice the following day," Ginebra coach Tim Cone admitted.
"Game 3 was fun, tonight absolutely was not fun."
Though their team was down by as much as 33 points, 87-54, Ginebra fans dominating the 22,196-strong crowd were still loud and cheered as they pleased.
Game 5 of this series will be played on Tuesday, October 4, 7 pm at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
San Miguel (101): Lassiter 25, Fajardo 17, Cabagnot 13, Millsap 13, Santos 13, Ross 9, Arana 3, De Ocampo 2, Espinas 2, Heruela 2, Mabulac 2, David 0, Reyes 0, Semerad 0, Tubid 0.
Ginebra (72): Brownlee 28, Tenorio 17, Devance 6, Cruz 5, Caguioa 4, Marcelo 4, Helterbrand 3, Bonifacio 2, Salva 2, Aguilar 1, Mariano 0, Mercado 0, Thompson 0.
Quarter scores: 30-22, 55-29, 82-52, 101-72.