MANILA, Philippines – San Miguel banked on a blistering fourth-quarter display to thwart TNT and tie the PBA Philippine Cup finals with a 109-100 win at the Araneta Coliseum on Wednesday, August 24.
CJ Perez churned out 23 points to lead six players in double figures for the Beermen, who showcased their vaunted depth to knot the best-of-seven championship series at 1-1.
Vic Manuel, Marcio Lassiter, and Mo Tautuaa all scored in twin digits as they anchored a game-changing 13-1 run to start the fourth quarter that opened a 95-80 lead for San Miguel.
Coming off the bench, Manuel turned in his finest performance of the playoffs by putting up 20 points – with 8 coming in the final frame – to go with 4 rebounds.
Lassiter fired 19 points, while June Mar Fajardo delivered 13 points, 8 rebounds, 4 assists, and 2 blocks as the Beermen rebounded from their sorry Game 1 loss that saw the Tropang Giga escape off a Jayson Castro buzzer-beater.
San Miguel also survived a sizzling performance from Roger Pogoy, who eclipsed his 26-point outing in Game 1 with 28 points on a healthy 6-of-10 clip from long range to go with 4 rebounds.
Pogoy, though, saw his offensive masterclass go down the drain as TNT unraveled in the fourth quarter of the first of two games where the Tropang Giga must play without head coach Chot Reyes, who’s attending to national team coaching duties.
The Tropang Giga threatened a comeback in the final salvo with Kelly Williams and Castro linking up for a 5-0 run that cut their deficit to single digits, 98-107, with less than two minutes left.
But back-to-back misses and a Lassiter jumper with 40 ticks remaining closed all comeback doors on TNT.
San Miguel 109 – Perez 23, Manuel 20, Lassiter 19, Fajardo 13, Cruz 12, Tautuaa 11, Brondial 7, Ross 4, Enciso 0, Zamar 0.
TNT 100 – Pogoy 28, Castro 15, Montalbo 14, Rosario 11, K. Williams 10, M. Williams 7, Erram 7, Reyes 3, Ganuelas-Rosser 3, Khobuntin 2, Marcelo 0.
Quarters: 30-28, 51-51, 82-79, 109-100.