Resilient Beermen upset KaTropa in double OT

Terrence Romeo was a big factor in preventing a 2-0 lead for the TNT KaTropa against the San Miguel Beermen in the 2019 Commissioner's Cup Finals. Jade Moya
By Xy-Zha Cabanlong

QUEZON CITY - The San Miguel Beermen withstood two overtimes in order to emerge the victors against a fierce TNT KaTropa squad, 127-125, on Wednesday night at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.

Terrence Romeo exploded with 29 points, 18 of which came from the three-point area, to lead the Beermen to a tied PBA Commissioner's Cup Finals series with the KaTropa at 1-1.

TNT almost had the game in their hands as they managed to chase a 9-point advantage of the Beermen to take the lead; 103-101 with 1:21 to go in regulation, leaving the Beermen worrying a bit of a looming 2-game advantage of TNT against them that they called in a time out to regroup.

At the return of play, TNT forced San Miguel to a turnover and scored another 2 points to double their lead through the efforts of Don Trollano with 56 seconds remaining in the game.

However, San Miguel was able to recover through scoring from the free throw line as Terrence Jones gave up a foul on Chris McCullough, who converted 2 points from the line, making the Beermen trail by only 2 points, 103-105.

Romeo gave up a foul on Trollano to prevent him from scoring off an offensive rebound, but Trollano was able to split his free throws, giving the KaTropa a 3-point advantage with 23 seconds left, 106-103.

Making up for his infraction, Romeo fired a triple that tied the ball game at 106-all with only 18 seconds left in the game.

That massive shot from beyond the arc sent the game into overtime as Jones committed a turnover as the KaTropa regained possession.

Both teams remained inseparable at the start of the extra five minutes, with Castro breaking the tie with his jump shot only to be equalised by McCullough.

Outside shots worked its wonders on both teams as Castro and Alex Cabagnot shooting from long distance, to again tie the ball game at 111-apiece, 2:04 to play in overtime.

Rosario scored another shot from beyond the arc to give the KaTropa a safe 3-point advantage; 114-111 with 1:20 left.

In an unfortunate timing, Jones was caught guilty of second motion with 21 seconds left to play in overtime off a foul by Chris Ross that lead to his ejection from the game as he was called for the same foul in the first half, after a scuffle with Christian Standhardinger.

Jones's exit turned out to be a big blow for the KaTropa as San Miguel was able to use that to their advantage, with McCullough sinking the technical free throw in and Brian Heruela missing both foul shots when it mattered the most for TnT.

Cabagnot was at the right place to be the receiving end of Ross's defensive rebound, scoring a layup that tied the game at 114, beating the overtime buzzer.

Wanting to close the game out with the victory on their side, Don Trollano drew first blood at the start of the second overtime, giving the KaTropa a 2-point lead; 116-114.

Fajardo was quick for a counter-attack, giving the game another bit of deadlock at 116-each, until Rosario pulled the trigger to score a three-pointer to give the edge to the KaTropa; 119-116 with over 3 minutes remaining.

Free throw scoring became a factor for the Beermen that it paved way for them to earn points off the fouls given up by TnT.

The one that hurt the most in the side of the KaTropa is that of Rosario with 1:35 left in 2nd OT, as he picked up his 6th foul in the game, sending Santos on the line to split his free throw but gives way for the Beermen to take a 1-point lead; 122-121.

Fajardo's perfect stint in his next trip to the free throw line and Ross's field goal almost killed the hopes of the KaTropa in taking the game until Castro hits a triple with 11 seconds left to play, trimming down what was once a 4-point lead to only 1-point; 126-125.

McCullough's split free throw off a foul by Trollano gave the Beermen a 2-point lead with 10 seconds left in 2nd overtime.

Castro attempted on a three-pointer with 4 seconds left in the game but missed the chance but was able to pick the offensive rebound.

His second attempt to score could not be converted and the KaTropa also ran out of time to at least send the game to its 3rd overtime.

The best-of-seven finals series between San Miguel and TnT continues on Friday at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.

The scores:

San Miguel 127 - McCullough 32, Romeo 29, Ross 25, Cabagnot 19, Fajardo 12, Standhardinger 7, Pessumal 2, Santos 1, Rosser 0.

TNT 125 - Rosario 34, Jones 28, Castro 27, Pogoy 17, Trollano 14, Heruela 5, Washington 0, Taha 0.

Quarterscores: 32-25, 59-45, 84-77, 106-106, 114-114, 127-125.

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