MANILA, Philippines - Clutch shots down the stretch from import Arizona Reid and gunslinger Marcio Lassiter propelled the San Miguel Beermen past the Barako Bull Energy Cola, 116-113, on Wednesday, May 27, at the Smart Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City.
Lassiter hit a 3-pointer with a little over a minute remaining while Reid hit a floater a few possessions later to seal the win for their team and in the process, snap the Energy Cola’s 4-game winning streak to open the Governors’ Cup.
Both Reid and reigning league MVP June Mar Fajardo had 22 points each to lead San Miguel, who won their fourth straight contest this conference after dropping their first two games. Lassiter finished with 18 points and 3 3-pointers, while Ronald Tubid contributed 13 markers - 12 coming in crucial stages of the fourth quarter.
San Miguel trailed Barako Bull for most of the first half due to the strong play of Energy Cola import Liam McMorrow, who registered 31 points and 25 rebounds on Wednesday. At one point in the third period, the 7-foot-2 import helped Barako extend their lead to 11.
“Alam ko sa simula palang (I knew from the start of the game), this would be a very tough game for us dahil (because) Barako Bull’s confidence is really high. They had nothing to lose and everything to gain,” San Miguel head coach Leo Austria said after the game.
“Talagang because of their import, na-inspire lahat nang kanilang mga player (Because of their import, they were really inspired). We were lucky to survive.”
Lassiter’s triple put San Miguel ahead 110-108 with 1:07 to go. But after a Barako time-out, JC Intal - who put up 14 points and 6 boards - nailed a contested 3-pointer of his own to regain the lead for his sqaud.
On the next possession, Reid attacked Intal's defense and hit a floater to give San Miguel a 112-111 lead. After Joseph Yeo missed a hero ball-jumper, Fajardo was fouled and made both charities to extend their lead to 3.
Reid then blocked Dylan Ababou’s corner 3-ball attempt, putting a stamp on the victory.
Yeo, who scored a season-high 28 points in Barako’s win over Meralco last Sunday, finished with 25 points on 11-of-17 shooting. Chico Lanete contributed 12 markers in the loss.
After the game, Austria was complimentary of his players.
“I have to give credit to Ronald Tubid because he stepped up. If not for him, ang hirap humabol sakanila (it would have been hard to catch up),” the head coach said.
“Hindi tayo pinahiya ni Marcio with his 3-pointer kanina…,” Austria later said. “And [Reid], he’s really the best import in the last two conference he played here. Saludo ako sakana dahil he’s really a leader of the team.”
San Miguel shot 53% from the field while Barako converted 48% of their attempts. The Energy Cola won the rebounding battle 56-44, but was out-assisted, 23-13.
The Beermen’s bench was better on Wednesday, outscoring Barako Bull’s, 40-22.
Both San Miguel and Barako Bull will be back in action on Sunday, May 31, when they take on Barangay Ginebra and Rain or Shine, respectively.
SAN MIGUEL (116): Fajardo 22, Reid 22, Lassiter 18, Tubid 13, Ross 12, Cabagnot 11, Espinas 8, Reyes 4, Lutz 2, Omolon 2, Santos 2.
BARAKO BULL (113): McMorrow 31, Yeo 25, Intal 14, Lanete 12, Maierhofer 10, Pascual 8, Garcia 6, Wilson 3, Lastimosa 2, Chua 2, Ababou 0.
Quarter Scores: 30-33, 55-59, 87-86, 116-113