SMB overcomes 0-17 start to stomp TNT, tie PBA Finals at 1-all

June 23, 2017 - 9:36 PM
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PBA Media Bureau

The San Miguel Beermen climbed out of a deep hole in the first quarter to pull off a massive turnaround and steamroll TNT KaTropa, 102-88, to level the best-of-seven Oppo PBA Commissioner’s Cup finals at one game apiece on Friday at SMART-Araneta Coliseum.

The Beermen stared at a 17-0 deficit to start the game, but their bench provided the much-needed spark to overcome TNT’s huge lead and dominate for the rest of the way.

June Mar Fajardo scored 22 points and 11 rebounds as Chris Ross added 20 points, five rebounds, nine assists and four steals.

Arwind Santos finished with 16 points and six rebounds while Alex Cabagnot added 13 markers, four boards and six dimes.

San Miguel was caught off-guard by the hot shooting of Jayson Castro and Anthony Semerad who combined for 19 points in KaTropa’s sizzling first period.

With San Miguel’s starters struggling, Santos came off the bench to energize the team. He scored 11 points as they trimmed TNT’s lead to eight, 32-24, entering the second quarter.

Brian Heruela also contributed quality minutes, providing quality defense on Castro.

The Beermen flexed their muscles and stamped their class in the second frame, cooling down the once-hot KaTropa and holding them scoreless in the first seven minutes of the period.

San Miguel outscored TNT, 28-11, in the second quarter to turn things around and grab a 52-43 halftime advantage.

TNT’s woes further compounded in the third quarter as RR Pogoy was ejected for giving a cheap shot to Santos. That play earned him a flagrant foul penalty two. After dropping a career-high 27 points in Game One, he went scoreless in this one.

The Beermen never looked back as their starters found their groove. They stomped KaTropa for the rest of the way, widening the gap to 90-62 heading into the final quarter and leading by as many as 32 points.