PBA: Beermen close in on Finals after 16-point comeback win over Alaska

Paul Lintag on Jul 16, 2018 09:13 PM
PBA: Beermen close in on Finals after comeback win
With the win, San Miguel has taken a commanding 2-0 lead against the rival Aces. This semis series is only a best-of-3.

Chalk this one up as another sensational comeback for defending champion San Miguel.

The Beermen erased a 16-point lead Monday at the Big Dome, scoring a 105-94 victory over Alaska in the 2018 PBA Commissioner's Cup semifinals.

With the win, San Miguel has taken a commanding 2-0 lead against the rival Aces. This semis series is only a best-of-3.

After losing the series opener, Alaska came out hot, scoring 29 points in the opening period for an 11-point lead.

The Aces continued to pound on the Beermen and Alaska eventually took a 16-point lead, 41-25, approaching halftime.

However, the Beermen stormed back to start the second half with Renaldo Balkman and Chris Ross combining for 25 points in the third period as the champs took over.

Alaska responded in the fourth with Vic Manuel at the lead, keeping things close before San Miguel turned to its usual strong finishing kick to secure the victory.

"Nahirapan talaga kami ng first half. Buti na lang nag-step up and we realized na threatening ang kanilang nilalaro," head coach Leo Austria said.

"Makikita naman natin na all out sila. We’re lucky na we’re able to come back. In this game, especially the end game, na-miss nila sila Banchero at Abueva, but diskarte nila yun. Wala silang magagawa dahil yun ang mga consequences na beyond their control," he added.

Balkman led the Beermen with 31 points, 25 in the second half. June Mar Fajardo added 21 points and 18 rebounds while Chris Ross dropped 16 for San Miguel.

For Alaska, Diamon Simpson and Simon Enciso scored 19 each but the no. 2 Aces, who are still missing Calvin Abueva (team-imposed suspension) and Chris Banchero (personal reasons) are officially on the brink.

Game 3 is set for Wednesday still at the Big Dome.

 

The Scores:

San Miguel (105): Balkman 31, Fajardo 21, Ross 16, Cabagnot 14, Lassiter 8, Santos 5, Nabong 5, Heruela 3, Standhardinger 2

Alaska (94): Simpson 19, Enciso 19, Manuel 15, Teng 13, Casio 12, Thoss 6, Cruz 5, Galliguez 3, Racal 2, Exciminiano 0, Baclao 0

Quarterscores: 18-29, 41-52, 79-74, 105-94


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