The San Miguel Beermen advanced to the semifinals of the PBA Governors’ Cup after they pulled away from the pesky Meralco Bolts in the final quarter to win, 102-86, in their do-or-die quarterfinal match last night at the Araneta Coliseum.
The league’s reigning MVP June Mar Fajardo came up big with a double-double of 22 points on 8-of-10 shooting from the field to go with 16 rebounds.
But it was wingmen Marcio Lassiter and Ronald Tubig that provided the spark in the penultimate period as they made one crucial three after another that turned what was a 67-65 lead into a sizable advantage that they would not relinquish until the final buzzer.
Arizona Reid led San Miguel with 29 points, 11 rebounds and six assists although the dreadlocked import committed nine turnovers.
Lassiter ended up with 17 points with all three of his three-pointers coming in the fourth. Arwind Santos added 15 while Tubid came up with eight capped by a corner triple that lifted their lead back to 12, 91-79, with 2:57 to go in the game.
The victory sealed the Final Four of this conference with the Beermen taking on the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters and the defending champions Purefoods Star Hotshots facing off versus the top-ranked Alaska Aces.
Both match-ups will be best-of-five affairs starting with Game 1 of the Hotshots and the Aces tomorrow at the same venue.
The Bolts put up a heck of a fight as they trimmed a 12-point deficit in the third to just two, 65-67, heading to the last frame.
Andre Emmett paced Meralco with 28 but was rendered a non-factor in the fourth behind Tubid’s relentless defense. The ageless Reynel Hugnatan added 17 while Gary David finished with 16.