Ross stars for San Miguel as Beermen take 2-1 Finals lead
Paul Lintag on Mar 01, 2017 09:52 PM
Ross finished with a game-high 24 points on top of four rebounds and eight assists for San Miguel in a Game 3 win.
With control of the 2017 PBA Philippine Cup Finals hanging in the balance, two-time defending champion San Miguel Beer clamped down on defense late to remind Brgy. Ginebra who is boss in the All-Filipino.
The Beermen held the Gin Kings scoreless in the last four minutes of Game 3 to take a 99-88 victory and a 2-1 series lead Wednesday at the Big Dome.
After Joe Devance gave Ginebra the lead, 88-87, with 4:02 to go, San Miguel scored 12 unanswered points to bounce back from its crushing overtime loss at Lucena City last Sunday.
Failing to finish Game 2 due to fouls, Chris Ross and June Mar Fajardo went to work for the Beermen as the duo scored 10 of San Miguel's last 12 points.
Ross finished with a game-high 24 points on top of four rebounds and eight assists while Fajardo dropped 17 and 18 rebounds.
Alex Cabagnot, who has been relatively quiet in the championship round, finally made some noise, adding 20 points including the dagger floater with one minute left that gave San Miguel a seven-point lead.
Marcio Lassiter, ejected during Game 2 for taunting, chipped in 16.
"I thought na we will lose again because they came out really strong," head coach Leo Austria said as Ginebra jumped to a 12-point lead in the first half.
"But we were able to recover, they [players] believed in our system, and that's it," he added.
Despite erasing that early 12-point deficit, the Beermen still appeared to be in trouble after Kevin Ferrer once again caught fire in the fourth, scoring 10 points to give Ginebra an 86-82 lead with five minutes to go before San Miguel turned it around.
LA Tenorio led the Gin Kings with 16 points while Ferrer added 15.
However, Game 2 heroes Scottie Thompson and Joe Devance failed to crack double-digits, finishing with eight and six points respectively.
Game 4 is set for Friday also at the Big Dome.
SAN MIGUEL 99 - Ross 24, Cabagnot 20, Fajardo 17, Lassiter 16, Santos 9, Tubid 6, Reyes 3, Heruela 2, Espinas 2, Garcia 0.
GINEBRA 88 - Tenorio 16, Ferrer 15, Aguilar 12, Ellis 12, Caguioa 11, Thompson 8, Devance 6, Mercado 5, Marcelo 3, Helterbrand 0, Taha 0.
Quarterscores: 19-24, 44-49, 69-66, 99-88.
Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8