SMB nears PBA PH Cup semis sweep of ROS with hard-fought win in Cavite return

Mo Tautuaa gets a free lane for the dunk. PBA Images
By Ivan Saldajeno

DASMARINAS--Seventeen years ago, a Yeng Guiao-led squad got the better of San Miguel in a PBA game in Cavite.

On Wednesday night, the Beermen finally got back at Guiao in the said province.

SMB tore down Guiao's Rain Or Shine with a 117-107 win in Game 3 of the Philippine Cup semifinals in the league's first stop at the Dasmarinas Arena.

The final margin reflected only a small fraction of what transpired in the game as the Beermen just pulled away late from a gritty Elasto Painters side looking to dodge a 3-0 deficit in the best-of-seven series.

Up by 11, 86-75, late in the third quarter, SMB found itself needing to hold off ROS for the rest of the second half as the latter crawled back and even took a 94-93 lead with 9:30 to play in the fourth.

The Beermen responded with a 6-0 run to get the lead back, 99-94, with 6:13 left.

The game remained tight until Marcio Lassiter fired a huge three with 42 seconds remaining to ice their win.

CJ Perez led the Beermen, who can sweep the Elasto Painters on Friday night at the SM Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay, with 23 points, 14 rebounds, five assists, and three steals.

Lassiter added 21 points, four rebounds, one assist, and one steal, while Don Trollano put up 20 points, 11 rebounds, and three assists off the bench.

June Mar Fajardo also had a double-double with 11 points and 11 rebounds alongside three assists, two blocks, and one steal.

Beau Belga fired 19 points with seven rebounds, five assists, and three steals, while Santi Santillan put up 12 points, 11 rebounds, five assists, and one block for the Elasto Painters, who now need a reverse sweep to steal the series, something only the Beermen did in a best-of-seven series in all of professional basketball before.

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