San Miguel center June Mar Fajardo takes on NorthPort’s Troy Rike. PBA IMAGES
Driven by pride and fueled by his depth, San Miguel Beer applied the broom to NorthPort on Thursday with a 100-95 decision in Game 2 that sent the Beermens to the PBA Philippine Cup semifinals after being sidelined. last year.
Seven Beermen finished with 11 or more points and that was more than enough to fend off repeated attempts at Batang Pier on a comeback as San Miguel, the all-Filipino indomitable force of the past decade, forged a duel interesting with the No. 1 seed of TNT.
“At every conference, everyone expects us to be successful,” said coach Leo Austria shortly after sweeping Batang Pier in his best-of-three quarterfinal series at the University of London. State Don Honorio Ventura in Bacolor, Pampanga. “This is the pressure we have to face. It means that there is something with us. “
New San Miguel guy CJ Perez took the lead again, scoring 21 points off the bench with four rebounds, two steals and two blocks in the decisive win that sent NorthPort racing.
“The coach told us how important it is to win this game. It’s San Miguel Corp’s birthday. (SMC) and it’s been a while since the team reached the semi-finals, ”said Perez.
It’s only been a year, to be exact. And meanwhile, cornerstone June Mar Fajardo was absent, and Terrence Romeo was sent home with a dislocated shoulder.
The league’s only six-time MVP, Fajardo finished with a 12-point, 12-board double-double, while Romeo scored 11 in his first game since undergoing a knee screening. .
San Miguel led by 13 points, and almost gave up that lead until Marcio Lassiter’s triple punch with 4:37 left to put the Beermens out of danger.
NorthPort has taken advantage of Greg Slaughter and rookie Jamie Malonzo as the duo can hold their heads high after capping a great conference with splendid individual efforts.
Slaughter scored 27 points and the combined pair for 44, almost half of the team’s total production, filling the absence of skipper Sean Anthony, who missed the game after rolling his ankle late in Game 1.
Robert Bolick finished with 14 assists and 12 points as he was hampered by freezing shots from deep.
San Miguel will now face TNT, with Brewers looking to cash in on their last meeting.
Austria and his charges were the only ones to put a dent in Chot Reyes and his wards’ remarkable run in this conference, an 83-67 blowout that ended Tropang Giga’s seven-game streak in the time.
But that’s old history now.
“The semi-finals, especially a best of seven, is another story,” Austria said. “[The Tropang Giga] play hard, play nice basketball. “
During this time, no. 3 Magnolia completed a two-game sweep of No. 6 Rain or Shine, after a 96-86 win in Game 2. Paul Lee had 24 points while Calvin Abueva scored 20 points and 19 rebounds as the Hotshots booked a semi-final date against the winner of the Meralco-NLEX match.
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