PBA: Beermen erase 23-point deficit to frustrate TNT in series opener

Paul Lintag on Jul 09, 2018 06:45 PM
PBA: Beermen erase 23-point deficit to frustrate TNT
The defending champions took Game 1 of the best-of-3 quarterfinals in comeback fashion, scoring a 121-110 victory Monday at the Big Dome.

San Miguel was down 23 to TNT to start the 2018 PBA Commissioner's Cup playoffs.

The Beermen still won.

The defending champions took Game 1 of the best-of-3 quarterfinals in comeback fashion, scoring a 121-110 victory Monday at the Big Dome.

Led by the potent twin tower combo of June Mar Fajardo and import Renaldo Balkman, San Miguel completed the rally in the fourth, frustrating the rival KaTropa to take crucial 1-0 lead in the short series.

Still down three, 103-106, the Beermen closed with a 16-0 run inside the last five minutes to fully take control of the game, 119-106.

San Miguel only took its first lead in the fourth as well, 100-99, following two Balkman free throws.

"Well ano that game is really scary. Really scary, we never thought na makakabalik pa kami from that big deficit, and then makikita natin na ang outside shooting nila was very sharp," head coach Leo Austria said.

"I have to give credit to my players, naka-focus pa rin sila, ang composure nila andoon and hindi sila nag-give up. Sabi nila let's cut it down to 14 or 15 after the first half, and it happened. Maybe because of the experience of this team, alam nila how to get back from that kind of deficit," he added.

TNT dropped an early haymaker, scorin 40 points in the first quarter for a commanding 19-point lead.

The KaTropa extended that lead to 23 in the second period, 46-23, before the Beermen slowly cut the deficit.

Just before the third quarter ended, San Miguel finally tied things up, 86-all, before firing the knockout blow in the last five minutes.

Balkman led the champs with 36 points, 23 in the second half, on top of 16 rebounds. Fajardo added 27 points and 13 boards, scoring 17 in the last two quarters.

Marcio Lassiter finished wuth 26 points.

For the KaTropa, who are once again facing elimination at the hands of San Miguel, seven players scored in double figures led by RR Pogoy and Joshua Smith who scored 17 points each.

Game 2 is set for Wednesday also at the Big Dome,

 

The Scores:

San Miguel (121): Balkman 36, Fajardo 27, Lassiter 26, Santos 10, Ross 9, Cabagnot 6, Ganuelas-Rosser 4, Nabong 3, Heruela 0, Vigil 0

TNT (110): Pogoy 17, Smith 17, Williams 16, Romeo 13, Semerad 11, Castro 10, Trollano 10, Rosario 9, Cruz 5, Taha 2, Golla 0, Garcia 0, Paredes 0, Carey 0, Reyes 0 Tamsi 0

Quarter scores: 21-40, 48-62, 86-88, 121-110

 


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