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

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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