Beermen survive Star in another close outing to make PBA Finals

Paul Lintag on Jun 16, 2017 09:46 PM
SMB survives Star in another close outing to make PBA FInals
The Beermen closed out Star in the Commissioner's Cup semifinals, 3-1, to make a second straight PBA Finals this season.

San Miguel survived another close game.

The Beermen just had enough offense at the end of Game 4 Friday at the MOA Arena, holding off sister team Star, 109-102, in the 2017 PBA Commissioner's Cup semifinals.

San Miguel won the short best-of-5 series, 3-1, winning three straight games after dropping the opener. The Beermen made their second straight PBA Finals this season and 38th overall.

After winning Games 2 and 3 by a combined two points, the Beermen appeared to be on their way to a much more convincing win after they opened up a 17-point lead in the second half, 86-69.

However, the Hotshots would storm back in the fourth quarter behind import Ricardo Ratliffe and Mark Barroca, keeping things tight until the final minute.

Star even managed to cut the lead down to three points in the last 30 seconds following a quick two from Ratliffe, 100-103, but that was the closest the Hotshots could get as the Beermen's impeccable free throw shooting iced the series.

"What more can I say ano, we're back in the Finals," head coach Leo Austria said. "We're so happy with these hardworking players kasi pinakita nila yung kanila championship caliber."

"For the fact na they gave us a chance, I'm sure the players are eager to win this conference dahil there's so many things that could happen if we win the championship," he added, planting seeds on how the Beermen will most definitely chase a Grand Slam if they manage to take the Commissioner's Cup title.

Alex Cabagnot led San Miguel with 26 points and his 12 from the third quarter allowed the Beermen to open the game up after a close first half. Chris Ross once again flashed his brilliant all-around game after coming up with 24 points, four rebounds, 10 assists, and five steals, while June Mar Fajardo was good for 22 points.

For good measure, import Charles Rhodes also added 21 and 10 rebounds.

Ratliffe led the Hotshots with 36 points and 17 boards but it wasn't enough as Star made another disappointing semifinal exit.

The Hotshots came into this series with a seven-game winning streak and that string of victories extended to eight after Game 1. After that however, it was all San Miguel made its first Commissioner's Cup Finals since 2001.

The Beermen will not wait for the winner of the Ginebra-TNT series. The KaTropa led that best-of-5 showdown, 2-1.


The scores:

SAN MIGUEL 109 - Cabagnot 26, Ross 24, Fajardo 22, Rhodes 21, Lassiter 8, Santos 4, Heruela 3, Espinas 1, Tubid 0.

STAR 102 - Ratliffe 36, Maliksi 16, Barroca 13, Sangalang 11, Ramos 9, Lee 8, Jalalon 6, Simon 3, Melton 0, Reavis 0.

Quarters: 29-27, 52-49, 83-69, 109-102.



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