Chris McCullough came up big to power the San Miguel Beermen past rivals TNT KaTropa, 106-101, to tie the 2019 PBA Commissioner’s Cup Finals at two games apiece, Sunday evening at a packed SMART Araneta Coliseum.
With all the attention on Terrence Jones, as he had just been named the conference’s Best Import, the 6-foot-10 forward churned out 27 points and 22 rebounds. He also had four assists, a steal, and a block in over 41 minutes of play.
McCullough made two clutch buckets down the stretch when TNT were coming back from 15 down. He then dished a dime to June Mar Fajardo underneath that widened their lead to four, 100-96, with 27.7 seconds left to play.
The other Beermen also stepped up, as Alex Cabagnot and Chris Ross made their freebies to seal the win.
“Of course thank you Lord for giving us this victory, because this game is really important for us. Because we don’t want to be at a 1-3 position, and it’s really hard to recover. But tonight’s game, I salute all the players,” said coach Leo Austria.
Fajardo made significant impact as well with 22 points, including 10 straight in the Beermen’s 20-4 blitz that turned a slim one-point deficit to an 84-69 edge early in the final period. The 6-foot-10 slotman also had seven rebounds.
Cabagnot led the SMB locals with 25 points on a 53-percent clip from the field, with five dimes and three boards.
Jones had 32 points, 16 rebounds, six assists, six steals, and two blocks as he played all 48 minutes to lead TNT.
Newly-minted Best Player of the Conference Jayson Castro had 17 points, eight boards, and eight dimes.
Troy Rosario supplied 24 points and eight rebounds, while scrappy wingman Don Trollano chimed in 16 markers for the KaTropa. TNT had their lowest assist number in the series at 15 after averaging 22.7 in the first three games.
Game Five is on Wednesday, August 14, 7:00 p.m. still at the SMART Araneta Coliseum.
San Miguel 106 – McCullough 27, Cabagnot 25, Fajardo 22, Pessumal 14, Ross 7, Standhardinger 5, Romeo 4, Santos 2.
TNT 101 – Jones 32, Rosario 24, Castro 17, Trollano 16, Pogoy 9, Heruela 3, Casino 0, Magat 0, Carey 0.
Quarterscores: 31-22, 51-52, 82-69, 106-101.