San Miguel Beer, a mean scoring machine with its Magnificent Six led by Charles Rhodes and June Mar Fajardo, battled Star in a dull defensive duel but happily forged a 1-1 deadlock in their PBA Commissioner’s Cup Final Four faceoff with a 77-76 escape act at the MOA Arena Monday night.
The Beermen stood their ground in the tough defensive battle to the very end, defending well against the Hotshots’ make-or-break attack in the closing seconds to complete their crucial grind-out victory.
San Miguel eventually avenged its 105-109 loss in Game One as Paul Lee failed to shake off a swarming defense and missed badly on a floater.
“This is the very kind of game I was expecting. I have to commend my players, and we’re lucky Paul Lee’s last shot didn’t connect,” said SMB coach Leo Austria.
“Kahit one point lang yan, tatanggapin ko ng buong-buo,” Austria added. – PBA
SMB 77 – Rhodes 21, Cabagnot 13, Fajardo 12, Lassiter 11, Ross 10, Tubid 5, Santos 3, Espinas 2, Heruela 0.
STAR 76 – Ratliffe 25, Jalalon 18, Sangalang 12, Maliksi 5, Ramos 5, Barroca 4, Melton 4, Lee 3, Reavis 0, Simon 0.
Quarterscores: 25-16, 44-30, 58-60, 77-76.