SMB finally holds on to take 2-1 semis lead over ROS

By Ivan Saldajeno

QUEZON CITY--No more late comebacks this time.

After the first two games of the best-of-five PBA Governors' Cup semifinals between San Miguel and Rain Or Shine decided by decisive rallies, San Miguel protected a fourth quarter win en route to a 114-108 win in Game 3 of the series at the Smart Araneta Coliseum on Monday night.

Leading by as much as 11 points, the Beermen withstood a gallant effort by the Elasto Painters in the fourth quarter to avenge their heartbreaking Game 2 loss on Saturday.

San Miguel was ahead, 96-89, during the early moments of the payoff period, but a Gabe Norwood slam led a mini-rally by Rain Or Shine to cut the lead to just two, 103-101, with 5:03 remaining.

Two clutch jumpers by AZ Reid sandwiched by an Alex Cabagnot triple highlighted the game-turning 7-0 SMB run to seal the 2-1 lead.

Reid and Cabagnot erupted for 37 and 26 points respectively for the Beermen, who can set up a rematch with fellow Philippine Cup finalists Alaska Aces in the best-of-seven titular showdown this weekend. Marcio Lassiter, who erupted for a career-high 31 markers on Saturday, added 17.

Wendell McKines, who exploded for 53 points in the come-from-behind ROS win, tallied 39 on Monday.

Box Scores:

San Miguel 114-Reid 37, Cabagnot 26, Lassiter 17, Fajardo 17, Tubid 8, Lutz 7, Santos 2, Ross 0, Omolon 0, Espinas 0

Rain Or Shine 108-McKines 39, Lee 22, Chan 13, Norwood 12, Tiu 10, Quinahan 5, Ibanes 2, Tang 2, Almazan 2, Cruz Jericho 1, Uyloan 0, Arana 0

Quarterscores: 26-27, 56-54, 89-82, 114-108