SMB's chase for top-2 spot still alive after rallying past Elite

Paul Lintag on May 31, 2017 06:45 PM
SMB's chase for top-2 spot still alive beating Elite
Down by as much as 16 points, San Miguel torched the Elite in the fourth period, completing a 27-point turnaround to improve to eight wins against only two defeats in the mid-season joust.

For a while, it looked like San Miguel's chase for a top-2 spot in the 2017 PBA Commissioner's Cup was in serious jeopardy.

However, the Beermen flipped that proverbial switch in the second half and the reigning three-time Philippine Cup champions scored a 124-113 comeback win over the Blackwater Elite Wednesday at the Cuneta Astrodome.

Down by as much as 16 points, San Miguel torched the Elite in the fourth period, completing a 27-point turnaround to improve to eight wins against only two defeats in the mid-season joust.

The victory enabled the Beermen to control their destiny when it comes to their position in the quarterfinals as another win on Friday against Globalport would mean San Miguel earns a twice-to-beat advantage in the next round.

"That game is the [scariest] I've experienced this season," head coach Leo Austria said. "We were down by 16 points and everybody from our opponent was really confident and had the momentum to upset us."

"But the players refused to be beaten by Blackater," he added.

The Elite sure made the Beermen sweat in this game, starting off with a 10-0 run to control the early goings.

Blackwater would start to pull away in the second period, dropping 40 points in the quarter, to put up a commanding 72-56 lead at the break.

However, the Beermen would rally pretty quickly, answering with an 18-2 blitz to tie things up early in the second half before doubling up on the Elite in the final period, 34-17, to take the victory.

Import Charles Rhodes was a beast for San Miguel, scoring 32 points, 15 in the fourth quarter, while three-time MVP June Mar Fajardo added another 28.

Marcio Lassiter was the third player for the Beermen to break the 20-point mark, dropping 21 on top of six rebounds, four assists, and eight steals.

Blackwater, who ended the Commissioner's Cup with a woeful 2-9 record, got 21 from Greg Smith but the former NBA veteran managed only one point in the last 12 minutes. He also had 11 turnovers.

KG Canaleta, Mark Cruz, and Mike Digregorio all scored 16 points each for the Elite.

 

The scores:

San Miguel (124) - Rhodes 32, Fajardo 28, Lassiter 21, Ross 14, Santos 13, Espinas 10, Cabagnot 6, Tubid 0, Reyes 0, Heruela 0.

Blackwater (113) - Smith 21, Digregorio 16, Canaleta 16, Cruz 16, Pinto 11, Cervantes 10, Sena 8, Aguilar 7, Gamalinda 5, Buenafe 3, Pascual 0, Erram 0.

Quarterscores: 30-32, 56-72, 90-96, 124-113.

 


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