PBA Philippine Cup

No to complacency: San Miguel not thinking of semis sweep after outlasting Rain or Shine in Game 3

Delfin Dioquino

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No to complacency: San Miguel not thinking of semis sweep after outlasting Rain or Shine in Game 3

WORKHORSE. Don Trollano in action for the San Miguel Beermen in the 2024 PBA Philippine Cup.

PBA Images

Drawing solid performances from across the board, San Miguel is a win away from a return trip to the PBA Philippine Cup finals as it grabs a commanding 3-0 lead against Rain or Shine

CAVITE, Philippines – Complacency is the enemy as San Miguel tries not to look too far ahead even with a potential semifinal sweep of Rain or Shine in the PBA Philippine Cup looking like a strong possibility.

Drawing solid performances from across the board, the defending champion Beermen are a win away from the finals after holding off the Elasto Painters, 117-107, in Game 3 at the Dasmariñas City Arena on Wednesday, May 22.

CJ Perez, Marcio Lassiter, and Don Trollano all reached the 20-point mark, while three others also scored in double figures as San Miguel reasserted its mastery in the best-of-seven clash.

“We just have to be motivated in Game 4. We really have to bring the energy. We really have to step on the gas,” said Beermen head coach Jorge Gallent.

“I’m sure Rain or Shine will come out smoking in Game 4. We just have to match that and do the things that we’ve been doing and I think we’re going to be okay.”

Perez shone on all fronts with game highs of 23 points and 14 rebounds on top of 5 assists and 3 steals, Lassiter fired 21 points off five triples, while Trollano posted his first double-double of the season with 20 points and 11 rebounds.

Terrence Romeo also delivered 13 points, 7 of those coming in a 10-5 closing run San Miguel used to seal the deal.

June Mar Fajardo got limited to 11 points on a paltry 4-of-14 clip after seven straight games of scoring at least 20 points, but the seven-time MVP made up for his shooting woes by churning out 11 rebounds, 3 assists, and 2 blocks.

According to PBA chief statistician Fidel Mangonon, the Beermen became the 18th team in league history to go up 3-0 in a best-of-seven affair, with 16 of the previous 17 squads all going on to win the series.

While history favors San Miguel, the players know the job is far from done.

“The series is not yet over. This is a race to four wins. We just got to be focused on the game and avoid being complacent even if we’re up 3-0,” said Trollano.

Beau Belga topscored for the Elasto Painters with 19 points to go with 7 rebounds, 5 assists, and 3 steals, Adrian Nocum, Keith Datu, and Jhonard Clarito netted 14 points each, while Andrei Caracut added 13 points and 6 assists.

Santi Santillan chimed in 12 points, 11 rebounds, and 5 assists, including the three-pointer that pulled Rain or Shine within 105-109 with 1:30 minutes remaining.

The Beermen, however, answered with an 8-2 run capped by a Romeo trey in the dying seconds that irked Rain or Shine head coach Yeng Guiao.

A fuming Guiao gave Romeo a piece of his mind after the San Miguel guard sank a three-pointer even with the result already beyond reach.

The Scores

San Miguel 117 – Perez 23, Lassiter 21, Trollano 20, Romeo 13, Ross 12, Fajardo 11, Tautuaa 10, Brondial 4, Cruz 3, Enciso 0.

Rain or Shine 107 – Belga 19, Datu 14, Clarito 14, Nocum 14, Caracut 13, Santillan 12, Mamuyac 6, Asistio 6, Norwood 4, Demusis 3, Ildefonso 2.

Quarters: 25-24, 51-47, 91-85, 117-107.

– 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.