May 22, 2024

Beermen on the verge of sweeping semis series vs E-Painters

RAIN or Shine solved one big problem, but couldn't handle what the rest of San Miguel Beer's talented crew laid out Wednesday.

As a result, the Beermen pocketed a 117-107 victory over the Elasto Painters at the Dasmarinas City Arena in Cavite to move another win away of sweeping their PBA Philippine Cup semifinals duel.

June Mar Fajardo got stymied, but CJ Perez, Marcio Lassiter, Don Trollano and Terrence Romeo all did their part in helping SMB ultimately shake off Rain or Shine's threat and take a commanding 3-0 lead in the best-of-seven series.

In league history, the last 17 teams which went up 3-0 in a race-to-four went on to win the series, eight of those via sweeps, and SMB can duplicate that feat when the series shifts back to the MOA Arena on Friday.

There is enough time to savor SMB's latest win that stretched its mastery over the same team to 10 games.

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"The boys were really composed, especially in the last five minutes ng game," said SMB coach Jorge Gallent, referring to his team's breakaway from a tight 99-97 count.

"It's just composure and we knew where to go pagdating sa endgame," added Gallent. "Fortunately, Terrence's shots went in and Don's went in, so that's a good a sign for us."

Gallent also shrugged off Fajardo's 11-point production, breaking his seven-game streak of scoring at least 20 points. The seven-time MVP did haul down 11 rebounds, to go with three assists and two blocks that fully put him past Yoyoy Villamin and into 11th in the all-time list.

"June Mar had his shots. He had open shots, but they just weren't going in," noted Gallent. "But June Mar's effort was there and he has to do a lot of things. He has to score, he has to chase their big men because they were shooting a lot of 3s, they spread the floor. So maybe he's kinda tired, his legs are tired. But you know he did a great job defending their big guys."

Its main man not scoring as much proved to be not much of a problem for SMB as Perez finished with 23 points and 14 rebounds, Lassiter 21 anchored on five triples, and Trollano throwing in 20 points and 11 boards of his own.

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Romeo also got into the act, especially in the fourth quarter where he scored all 13 of his points punctuated by the games last five points.

It was a tough loss for Rain or Shine, which put up a much better performance than in an 89-106 loss in Game 2 by battling SMB through 23 lead changes and six deadlocks. But when crunchtime came, the E-Painters' youth proved no match to the Beermen's experience again.

Beau Belga came up with his best scoring game of the series with 19 points anchored on a 6-of-12 clip from beyond the arc, with Adrian Nocum, Jhonard Clarito and rookie Keith Datu chipping in 14 points apiece. (NC)

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