San Miguel Beer forces Game 7


SAN MIGUEL Beer got back at TNT Tropang Giga with a 103-90 rout on Friday to forge a winner-take-all Game Seven in their best-of-seven semifinals series in the Philippine Basketball Association Philippine Cup at the Don Honorio Ventura State University Gym in Bacolor, Pampanga.

Moala Tautuaa put his broad shoulders to work and so did Marcio Lassiter his sharp shooting hands as the Beermen bounced back from a 90-110 loss in Game Five to level the series at 3-3.

Tautuaa, who only had 10 points in Game Five, tallied 24 points on 10-of-14 shooting and hauled down five rebounds on Friday.

Lassiter was on target and finished with 19 points to negate his forgettable performance on Wednesday when had a horrible 2-of-8 shooting that netted him only five points. He was 3-of-3 in three-pointers in the first quarter of Game Six and his fourth triple pushedto  the Beermen a 46-30 lead with 3:10 to go in the second period.

“Game Five wasn’t my night. But when I came into the next game, it’s a brand new game,” Lassiter said. “I don’t think about the last game, I am just preparing to knock down those shots.”

Lassiter was 7-of-14 from the field he highlighted with five triples and he also had five rebounds, four steals and three assists.

“I just rolled that hot hand today,” he said.

San Miguel Beer Head Coach Leo Austria praised his players, especially Lassiter for playing well to tie the series.

“That’s what we’re waiting for to happen with our guards and forwards like Marcio [Lassiter]. He is a big impact to our team as a two-way player, he is always a threat or a marked man of any opposing team,” Austria said. “But because of the dominance of our big men, he got open most of the time.”

CJ Perez, who had eight points and 12 rebounds, scored on a fast break dunk to give San Miguel Beer an insurmountable 84-58 advantage in the third quarter.

The Beermen didn’t face any serious threat in the entire fourth period.

Terrence Romeo added 16 points and six assists, while veteran Arwind Santos contributed 13 points and 10 rebounds and Alex Cabagnot nine points for the Beermen.

Big man June Mar Fajardo filled the stats sheet with 11 points, 14 rebounds, three assists, two steals and two blocks for the Beermen, who out-rebounded the Tropang Giga, 59-45.

The Beermen also outscored the Tropang Giga in the paint, 48-26, and made more second chance points, 24-14.

Guards Jayson Castro and Ryan Reyes had 16 points each in leading Tropang Giga.

The do-or-die Game Seven is set on Sunday.

“It’s going to be a difficult one because everything is at stake, so we need a lot of energy and a good start to win and advance to the finals,” Austria said.

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