San Miguel Beermen that paced through their elimination rounds with a 10-1 record will now take the open lead in their best-of-7 semifinals series after tearing TNT Katropa 111-98 in the 2017 PBA Philippines Cup Wednesday night at Smart Araneta Coliseum.
For Beermen it was their 11th straight win, who hasn’t tasted loss since Nov. 30 2016.
Once again Beermen displayed their solid performance by making 16 of their 26 three-point attempts with Marcio Lassiter smashing 4 and Alex Cabagnot and Arwind Santos dropping 3 each.
Lassister led the team with 22 points, 8 rebounds and 5 assists, while June Mar Fajardo and Alex Cabagnot played massively in the 2nd half to add 21 and 20 points, respectively. Gabby Espinas on the other hand helped Fajardo to bridge the gap that Katropa were filling fast, by adding 13 points off the bench.
Head Coach of Beermen Leo Austria said –
“I’m happy with our first win because a first win is very important in any series,”
“I was worried at the start of the game because we had won 10 consecutive games and I know that sooner or later we’re going to lose,”
“But we’re not after our winning streak; we’re out there to win. Time will come that we’re going to lose but I know the players won’t give anything up.” He added
TNT Katropa missed 20 3-points attempts (6 of 26) for a miserable 23%, while the Beermen were excellent in shooting from distance, marking 16 of 26 for 61%.
Jason Castro paced TNT with 27 points and 8 assists, while Kelly Williams added 24 points and 5 rebounds to the loss.
Game Two of the San Miguel-TNT series will take place on 9th February at 7 p.m. at the Mall of Asia Arena
SMB 111 — Lassiter 22, Fajardo 21, Cabagnot 20, Santos 15, Espinas 13, Garcia 9, Tubid 6, Ross 5, McCarthy 0, Agovida 0, Y. De Ocampo 0.
TNT 98 — Castro 27, Williams 24, Tautuaa 11, Ganuelas-Rosser 10, R. De Ocampo 7, Fonacier 7, Pogoy 6, Reyes 4, Seigle 2, Rosario 0, Carey 0, Golla 0, Sumalinog 0, Rosales 0.
Quarterscores: 32-16, 56-46, 83-73, 111-98.