Down by two with six seconds to go, Marcio Lassiter knocked down a huge triple in their final possession to lift the San Miguel Beermen to a 94-93 win over the NLEX Road Warriors at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Lassiter missed his first six shots from beyond-the-arc before swishing the game-winner. He finished with eight points, nine rebounds, and two assists.
AZ Reid led the Beermen with 23 points, but scored only four points in the second half.
After a closely-contested first quarter that saw San Miguel leading by a point, the Beermen’s depth took control of the next period. In addition to SMB’s ten-point cushion at the break, the team seemingly opened the floodgates to kick-off the second half. In less than two minutes, AZ Reid and Alex Cabagnot made open layups to widen the gap at 60-43.
In the same quarter however, the Road Warriors installed a furious run to shock and halt San Miguel’s momentum. By the final stretch of the third, Henry Walker paced his team to silence San Miguel and counter on a 25-8 berserk to erased the lead and tie things up heading into the final frame.
The back-and-forth exchange yielded an 86-all score with three minutes left. Afterwards, Sean Anthony and Asi Taulava made huge shots to help the Road Warriors maintain the cushion. However, Alex Cabagnot drained a triple to cut the lead to two and after another stop late, AZ Reid located Lassiter for the game-winner.
“Nasa bingit na kami ng pagkatalo. Pero actually yung play namin is for AZ, even though he is not playing well. Kahit na ganun, alam naman nating because of his instinct kaya nakita niya si Marcio,” said coach Leo Austria about their final possession.
San Miguel shot 52 percent from the floor compared to NLEX’s 45 percent clip. The Road Warriors, though, punished the Beermen in second chance points 15-8 and committed less turnovers, 14-9.
Gary David played a stellar game for the Beermen with 13 points on 5/7 from the floor. Walker paced the Road Warriors on the loss with 33.
The Beermen (2-0) looks to make it three straight against an also undefeated Mahindra Enforcers (2-0), while the Road Warriors (1-1) will be facing the Ginebra Kings (1-0) up next. Both games will be played at 4:15 and 7:00pm respectively on July 27, also at the Big Dome.
San Miguel (94) – Reid 23, Cabagnot 19, Fajardo 16, David 13, Lassiter 8, Arana 4, Ross 3, Reyes 2, Semerad 0, Tubid 0, Mabulac 0.
NLEX (93) – Walker 33, Villanueva J. 14, Villanueva E. 8, Akl 7, Khobuntin 6, Taulava 6, Alas 4, Lanete 3, Monfort 3, Baracael 0.
Quarterscores: 23-21, 41-31, 68-68, 94-93.