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PBA: Enciso, Lassiter, Perez make it rain on TNT as SMB forces Game 7


San Miguel played merciless basketball and tore apart an injury-ravaged TNT, 114-96, to send the 2022 PBA Philippine Cup Finals to a deciding Game Seven, Wednesday night at the SMART Araneta Coliseum.

Marcio Lassiter and CJ Perez starred in the explosive start that saw the Beermen erupt for 40 points in the first quarter, which set the tone for the bounce-back blowout win from a tough Game Five loss two nights ago.

Simon Enciso and the rest came through in the succeeding periods as SMB took full advantage of a Tropang Giga side that missed the services of star Jayson Castro (ankle) and versatile winger Glenn Khobuntin (MCL sprain).

“That’s what I’ve been waiting for: For everybody to click,” said head coach Leo Austria, who’s headed to yet another Finals Game Seven.

Lassiter top-scored for San Miguel with 22 points, while Enciso fired a conference-high 20 as the two combined for 12 of their team’s 16 triples.

CJ Perez scored 20 points as well, including 11 in the opening period alone which surpassed his whole output in Game Five. The two-time scoring champion went 3-of-3 from deep and also had four rebounds and three assists.

Mo Tautuaa had 15 points and eight rebounds, while Jericho Cruz added 11 markers as many performed so well that SMB hardly needed another monster outing from June Mar Fajardo, who had 10 points and 12 rebounds.

“After this game, sixth game na ito, alam na namin kung saan kami pupunta. Na, we cannot rely on any individual. It could be a team effort, and that’s what happened tonight,” offered Austria.

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San Miguel wasted the performance of Roger Pogoy for TNT, who unloaded 31 points as he carried the load for the defending champions.

The former Rookie of the Year tried to lead an uprising in the third quarter that saw them slice a 26-point gap to just nine a couple of times, but could only do so much as his team’s manpower issues reared its ugly head.

Jaydee Tungcab had 12 points — all in the fourth quarter — while Troy Rosario added 10 for a Tropang Giga side that received only two points from reigning scoring champion Mikey Wiliams, who went 1-of-13 from the floor.

Game Seven is on Sunday at 6:00 p.m. still at the Big Dome, with the corporate rivals duking it out one last time for the league’s crown jewel.

The Scores:

San Miguel 114 – Lassiter 22, Perez 20, Enciso 20, Tautuaa 15, Cruz 11, Fajardo 10, Brondial 6, Manuel 5, Ross 3, Pessumal 2, Canete 0, Herndon 0, Zamar 0, Faundo 0.

TNT 96 – Pogoy 31, Tungcab 12, Rosario 10, Montalbo 8, K.Williams 8, Marcelo 5, Banal 3, Cruz 3, M.Williams 2, Ganuelas-Rosser 0, Reyes 0.

Quarterscores: 40-24, 63-50, 92-68, 114-96.

The second game of each PBA gameday is live-streamed on SMART Sports.

Written By

Oftentimes on the sidelines. Forever a student of the game. Morayta-bred.


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