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San Miguel forces rubber match vs. TNT in PBA PH Cup semis

Mo Tautuaa dominated off the bench for the Beermen. PBA Images
By Carl Santiago

MANILA--San Miguel is not ready to go home just yet as they forced a Game 7 in the PBA Philippine Cup semifinals after drubbing TNT, 103-90, in Game 6 on Friday at the Don Honorio Ventura State University Gym in Bacolor, Pampanga.

Behind an early barrage from Marcio Lassiter, San Miguel quickly stomped its dominance enough to keep afloat despite a late TNT run to send its best-of-seven affair to a rubber match on Sunday night.

Marcio quickly caught fire with three straight triples to give SMB an early 14-4 advantage in the first period.

But TNT bounced back late in the quarter to draw to within four before a buzzer-beater from Arwind Santos put SMB's lead back up to six, 27-21.

TNT took a hit early in the second period as Poy Erram got into foul trouble, and San Miguel pounced on it and upped its lead back to 16, 46-30.

Mikey Williams somehow kept TNT in the game with back-to-back triples that cut the lead down to 10, but behind back-to-back inside shots from Mo Tautuaa with 12 points, SMB rebuilt a 15-point lead, 53-38, heading to the second half.

Arwind Santos then opened the third period with back-to-back triples to begin SMB's breakaway, eventually upping its lead to 24, 86-62, at the end of the quarter.

TNT came alive in the fourth and was just within, 88-98, with under three minutes left, but a wide-open trey from Lassiter buried the team's late comeback.

Tautuaa finished with 24 points on 10-of-14 shooting, five rebounds, and one assist off the bench to lead the Beermen.

Lassiter added 19 points on 7-of-14 field goals including 5-of-8 on three-pointers, five rebounds, three assists, and four steals.

Jayson Castro and Ryan Reyes each tallied 16 markers off the bench for the Tropang Giga.

With a report from Ivan Saldajeno

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