PBA: Beermen even the series at 2-2

Jun 13, 2024

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On Independence Day, San Miguel tied the PBA 48th Season Philippine Cup Finals with a 111-101 victory over Meralco in Game Four at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.

In addition to the typical output of June Mar Fajardo, CJ Perez, and Marcio Lassiter, the Beermen received a significant boost from second-stringers Vic Manuel and Terrence Romeo, which helped them square the best-of-seven series at 2-2.

Game Five is set to take place in the Big Dome on Friday.

Manuel scored eight points in their first-ever finals game, six of which came in the third quarter, and Romeo scored seven points after missing the first three games of the series due to a persistent calf ailment.

Chris Newsome’s career-high 40-point game was in vain as Meralco’s comeback attempt was unsuccessful. Rather, the series’ highest-scoring game’s outcome made the finals a best-of-three match.

Fajardo atoned for a Game Three effort in which he was kept to five attempts by scoring a season-high 28 points and grabbing 13 rebounds on the night he won his tenth PBA-Nustar Cebu Best Player of the Conference award.

In games when Fajardo won his BPC plum, the Beermen are presently 8-2, according to PBA statistics Chief Fidel Mangonon.

For San Miguel, Lassiter scored 18 points and drained four three-pointers, while Perez finished with 22 points, eight rebounds, and six assists.

Although SMB coach Jorge Gallent downplayed the victory, he was nonetheless pleased with the team effort that produced the series’ highest scoring game.

Cliff Hodge contributed 17 points and 10 rebounds, while Chris Banchero scored 21 points to support Newsome for Meralco.

San Miguel really got off to a terrific start in the game, leading 23–9, making Meralco have to constantly play catch-up. Meralco closed the gap to 71-69 in the third quarter, but the second unit, which included Trollano and Manuel, helped San Miguel answer with a 9-2 run.

The Scores

San Miguel 111 –  Fajardo 28, Perez 22, Lassiter 18, Tautuaa 9, Trollano 8, Manuel 8, Romeo 7, Ross 6, Cruz 5, Teng 0, Brondial 0.

Meralco 101 – Newsome 40, Banchero 21, Hodge 17, Maliksi 9, Quinto 6, Bates 4, Almazan 2, Rios 2, Caram 0, Torres 0.

Quarter scores: 29-22; 51-40; 82-74; 111-101.

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