Beermen get back at Hotshots, tie series at 1-1
MANILA, Philippines–San Miguel Beer didn’t bide its time on Friday, May 3, 2019, pulling out stops on both ends early to beat Magnolia 108-101, and knot their best-of-seven series in Game 2 of the PBA Philippine Cup Finals at the Smart Araneta Coliseum in Cubao.
The Beermen made use of a fiery performance in the middle quarters to break away from the Hotshots and take full control of the contest to breach the century mark, an indicator by which their enemies measure themselves against.
“We’re trying to avoid going 0-2. I told them to step up on defense and that’s what’s happened,” coach Leo Austria said. “I think what happened tonight is we’re able to set up the plays and we’re able to not solely concentrate on June Mar (Fajardo).”
Chris Ross figured as the catalyst in the second period, while skipper Alex Cabagnot followed through in the next frame, scoring and assisting the squad’s 15 points that third quarter.
Five more Beermen scored in twin digits, including Terrence Romeo, who was thrown out of the game for two technicals with roughly six minutes left to play.
“He wants to win very badly but we have to remind him that that’s not the way,” he said of his young guard, who he thought was reacting to the fouls on him that were left uncalled.
“Napunta sa utak niya. But I like that kid. He’s a warrior.”
Cabagnot and Fajardo led all of the scorers with 16 points each, while ChrisRoss and Marcio Lassiter had 15 apiece.
The critical third game of the race-to-four showdown will be held Sunday, May 5, again at the Big Dome, with the tip-off slated at 6:30 p.m.
Mangolia leaned on Ian Sangalang anew for 18 points and for anchorage against Fajardo’s presence in the paint. Jio Jalalon and Mark Barroca tossed in 15 and 12 respectively.
“They controlled the tempo. And like I’ve said, once they reached a hundred points, we have a slim chance of defeating them,” coach Chito Victolero said.
“But I still commend my players. They still didn’t give up,” he said when asked about his charges still trying to chafe the lead late in the game.
“I still loved the effort. And I think we could still bring that into the next game.”
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