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After having their pride "tickled", Beermen step up in clincher

Coach Leo Austria is happy to see his team bouncing back from a "tickling" experience in Antipolo. Dennis Acosta

By Ivan Saldajeno

QUEZON CITY--San Miguel had a huge chance to finish off Alaska in the PBA Commissioner's Cup semifinals on Friday night at the Ynares Center in Antipolo.

Instead, the apparently off-tune Beermen found themselves getting blown out by the Aces.

[Related Story: Alaska hammers SMB, extends semis series]

"That's an embarrassment for us, and the players' pride, nakiliti eh," said Coach Leo Austria on the Game 3 letdown.

Two nights later at the Smart Araneta Coliseum, SMB made sure it will finally finish off Alaska by taking Game 4, 104-99.

[Related Story: SMB takes first finals seat after ousting Alaska]

"I think they stepped up tonight, and everybody was so focused on this game," Austria continued.

He then lauded Alex Cabagnot for his endgame moments.

"Yung kanyang pagiging clutch kanina, andoon na naman," Austria continued.

Cabagnot drained a clutch triple with 34.3 seconds left that gave the Beermen a 100-92 cushion and made two free throws with 3.4 seconds to go for the nail in the coffin.

He also gave raves to Chris Standhardinger and Kelly Nabong for having quality minutes to help their cause.

SMB is in the finals for the seventh time under Austria.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno