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Rain or Shine left stunned as San Miguel erases 19-point gap to secure PBA Finals slot


June Mar Fajardo and CJ Perez dealt the biggest of blows as San Miguel pulled off a great comeback to beat Rain or Shine, 107-100, and sweep its way to the PBA Season 48 Philippine Cup Finals, Friday night at the Mall of Asia Arena.

The seven-time MVP cleaned up Marcio Lassiter’s missed three-pointer for the go-ahead bucket before the young star nailed a side-step triple to give the Beermen the 104-100 advantage with only 25.7 seconds left in the game.

A split by Perez and a pair of free throws by Chris Ross in the last 18.7 seconds proved to be the finishing touches as the reigning conference champions completed the fightback from a 19-point third-quarter deficit.

“I told them naman sa halftime, let’s not give an opportunity to Rain or Shine,” said head coach Jorhe Gallent. “At this moment, we have a chance to close this series, it’s not over. We’re only down by 14, let’s just work hard.”

“And, play like how we’ve been playing and we’ll be okay, which we did, especially talaga sa fourth quarter. We just pressed on the gas in the fourth quarter,” added the champion mentor. “Luckily, we won the game.”

Perez led the way with 26 points, while Fajardo came through with a monster outing of 17 points and 23 rebounds with six assists, two steals, and three blocks as the batch brought the franchise to its 45th Finals appearance.

Those big-time plays they made ensured that the efforts of Don Trollano wouldn’t go in vain. The former Elasto Painter helped light the fire in the uprising and eventually finished with 20 points and eight rebounds.

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Jericho Cruz supplied 11 points while Terrence Romeo added 10 as the two helped Trollano in leading the bench mob, which contributed 51 points.

Now San Miguel can rest for a bit as it awaits the winner between Ginebra and Meralco in the Finals. The series is currently tied at 2-2.

“We just have to think of one game at a time and think of how to prepare whoever wins in the other series,” said Gallent.

Put to waste by the collapse, on the other hand, was the 30-point outing of sophomore winger Gian Mamuyac for Rain or Shine.

Santi Santillan and Adrian Nocum made 14 points apiece. Anton Asistio had 13 while Beau Belga added 12 for RoS, who unraveled after the Beermen went on to pull off that mighty performance in the fourth quarter.

They seemed to have taken control of the game when their lead stretched to 73-54 but their experienced foes slowly chipped away the deficit, with Jeron Teng helping his seniors by scoring all his eight points in the third.

Then came Trollano and Perez for the crucial 8-2 run to pull themselves to within a point, 100-99, with under three minutes left to play and that proved to be the beginning of the end for the hard-fighting wards of Yeng Guiao.

The Scores:

San Miguel 107 Perez 26, Trollano 20, Fajardo 17, Cruz 11, Romeo 10, Teng 8, Bronidial 6, Ross 5, Tautuaa 2, lassiter 2, Enciso 0.

Rain or Shine 100 – Mamuyac 30, Santillan 14, Nocum 14, Asistio 13, Belga 12, Clarito 8, Caracut 3, Ildefonso 2, Norwood 2, Demusis 2, Datu 0.

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Quarterscores: 25-27, 41-55, 75-87, 107-100.

Written By

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


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