MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – The San Miguel Beermen are a win away from booking a ticket to the 2018 PBA Philippine Cup finals with a 102-81 drubbing of Barangay Ginebra in Game 4 of their best-of-7 semifinals series at the Mall of Asia Arena Thursday, March 15 .
Marcio Lassiter fired 23 points off 5 triples to go with 6 assists and 4 rebounds to lead the other 5 Beermen who finished in double figures.
Alex Cabagnot chipped in 19 points, 8 assists, 5 steals and 3 rebounds, Arwind Santos finished with 16 points, 9 rebounds and two steals and June Mar Fajardo had 14 points and 13 rebounds as San Miguel avenged its 87-95 Game 3 loss last March 13.
San Miguel, which moved to 3-1 in the series, got a big boost from Matt Ganuelas-Rosser, who chalked up a near-triple-double of 12 points, 9 assists and 6 rebounds.
The Gin Kings trailed by just 10 points after the maiden period, 22-32, but couldn't recover from since then as the Beermen buried Ginebra by as much as 29 points, 84-55, in the 3rd quarter.
"Siguro magandang regalo sa aking birthday. Sabi nila kapag may birthday nasa iyo ang swerte. Only one thing ang masasabi ko dito sa game na ito: energy ang big factor," said San Miguel head coach Leo Austria, who celebrated his 60th birthday last March 14.
(I guess this is a good birthday gift for me. They say when someone has a birthday, luck is on their side. There is only one thing I can say about this game: energy was a big factor.)
The Beermen shot 52% from the field compared to Ginebra's 43% and had the edge in the rebounds, assists, steals and blocks departments.
Only two Ginebra players breached double digits in scoring with Japeth Aguilar dropping a game-high 31 points on top of 13 rebounds and 4 steals. LA Tenorio had 20 points in the loss.
Game 5 is on Saturday, March 17, at the Cuneta Astrodome.
San Miguel (102): Lassiter 23, Cabagnot 19, Santos 16, Fajardo 14, Ganuelas-Rosser 12, Ross 11, Espinas 4, Pessumal 3, Agovida 0, De Ocampo 0, Heruela 0, Lanete 0, Vigil 0
Ginebra (81): J. Aguilar 31, Tenorio 20, Cruz 9, Mercado 5, Caguioa 3, Caperal 3, Ferrer 3, Devance 2, Manuel 2, Mariano 2, Thompson 1, R. Aguilar 0
Quarter scores: 32-22, 58-41, 84-58, 102-81
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.