Lassiter hits game-winner as SMB gets 2-1 semis edge over Star

By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA--Just when Star thought it completed a comeback, Marcio Lassiter pulled off a heart-breaker.

Lassiter hit the go-ahead triple as San Miguel stunned Star, 111-110, in Game 3 of their PBA Commissioner's Cup semifinal series at the Smart Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City on Wednesday night.

Lassiter shocked the Hotshots when he hit an off-the-glass triple with 1.6 seconds left that saved the Beermen from a late collapse.

SMB was up, 100-91, with 5:16 left when Star went on a 9-2 run to cut the lead down to two, 102-100, with 3:44 to go.

Both teams would exchange baskets until Ricardo Ratliffe scored six straight points to put the Hotshots ahead, 110-108, with 13.6 seconds.

Chris Ross had a chance to tie the game, but he missed a jumper with seven seconds left.

The loose ball, however, ended up with Lassiter, who dribbled until just beyond the arc and shot the ball against the outstretched arms of Justin Melton, banking it in.

With no timeout left, Rafi Reavis had no choice to hurl a desperation heave from beyond halfcourt that he airballed.

Charles Rhodes led the Beermen, who are now 2-1 up in the series, with 36 points, seven rebounds, four assists, three blocks, and two steals.

Chris Ross added a new triple-double of 27 points, eight rebounds, and eight assists with three steals and one block.

Ratliffe's 44-point, 19-rebound, seven-assist, four-block, and one-steal impression went for naught as the Hotshots will now have to escape elimination in Game 4 on Friday.

Box Scores:

San Miguel 111-Rhodes 36, Ross 27, Fajardo 18, Lassiter 12, Cabagnot 9, Santos 6, Tubid 3, Heruela 0

Star 110-Ratliffe 44, Lee 21, Sangalang 11, Jalalon 10, Barroca 9, Maliksi 7, Simon 3, Ramos 3, Reavis 2, Melton 0

Quarterscores: 32-28, 56-52, 85-81, 111-110

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