PBA Philippine Cup

Sweep secured as San Miguel completes inspired comeback vs Rain or Shine to reach finals

Delfin Dioquino

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Sweep secured as San Miguel completes inspired comeback vs Rain or Shine to reach finals

KRAKEN. June Mar Fajardo in action for the San Miguel Beermen in the 2024 PBA Philippine Cup.

PBA Images

June Mar Fajardo, Don Trollano, and CJ Perez deliver the big hits late as San Miguel erases a 19-point deficit against Rain or Shine to reach the finals for the 45th time in franchise history

MANILA, Philippines – Why prolong the series if San Miguel can go for the sweep?

Coming alive in the fourth quarter, the Beermen completed a 4-0 demolition of Rain or Shine in their PBA Philippine Cup semifinals after a sensational come-from-behind 107-100 win at the Mall of Asia Arena on Friday, May 24.

June Mar Fajardo, Don Trollano, and CJ Perez delivered the big hits down the stretch as San Miguel erased a 19-point deficit to quickly wrap up the best-of-seven series and reach the finals for the 45th time in franchise history.

“I told them at halftime, let us not give an opportunity to Rain or Shine. At this moment, we have a chance to close this series, it is not over,” said Beermen head coach Jorge Gallent.

“Let us just work hard and play like how we’ve been playing and we’ll be okay, which we did, especially in the fourth quarter. We just pressed on the gas in the fourth quarter. Luckily, we won the game.”

The Elasto Painters looked on the way to avoiding a sweep when they mounted their biggest lead at 78-59 off an Adrian Nocum three-pointer midway through the third period.

But that lead slowly vanished in the final frame as San Miguel forward Don Trollano punished his former team Rain or Shine, with whom he won his first championship in the PBA.

Trollano scattered 13 of his 20 points in the fourth quarter, including the layup that pulled the Beermen within 97-98, paving the way for Fajardo and Perez to close it out.

Fajardo – who netted 17 points, 23 rebounds, 6 assists, 3 blocks, and 2 steals – grabbed an offensive board and scored a putback for a 101-100 San Miguel lead before Perez sank a stepback triple that made it a four-point game.

Perez drained a free throw for good measure to finish with a team-high 26 points as the Elasto Painters went scoreless in the final three minutes.

Jericho Cruz and Terrence Romeo added 11 and 10 points, respectively, in the win, which saw San Miguel outscore Rain or Shine 32-13 in the fourth quarter.

By disposing of the Elasto Painters at the earliest possible time, the Beermen afforded themselves extra days off as they wait for the result of the other semifinals between Barangay Ginebra and Meralco – a series still tied at 2-2.

“This is the third step, so we’re going to our fourth step, which is the finals. We just have to think of one game at a time and think of how to prepare whoever wins in the other series,” said Gallent.

Gian Mamuyac exploded for a game-high 30 points on 11-of-18 shooting for Rain or Shine, while Adrian Nocum and Santi Santillan chimed in 14 points apiece.

The Scores

San Miguel 107 – Perez 26, Trollano 20, Fajardo 17, Cruz 11, Romeo 10, Teng 8, Brondial 6, Ross 5, Tautuaa 2, Lassiter 2, Enciso 0.

Rain or Shine 100 – Mamuyac 30, Santillan 14, Nocum 14, Asistio 13, Belga 12, Clarito 8, Caracut 3, Ildefonso 2, Norwood 2, Demusis 2, Datu 0.

Quarters: 25-27, 41-55, 75-87, 107-100.

– 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.