Grand slam-chasing San Miguel Beer made another crucial step towards a possible second straight championship as it disposed of TNT KaTropa, 106-102, to advance to the PBA Commissioner’s Cup Final Four at the Smart Araneta Coliseum Wednesday night.
With their admirable championship poise, the Beermen outfought the Texters at the finish of a grind-out game and thus set a best-of-five semifinal duel with the Alaska Milk Aces.
From a 98-all count in the last two minutes, Renaldo Balkman, June Mar Fajardo and Chris Ross strung up eight straight charities to deliver the knockout blow on the Texters.
Thus, the Beermen face the Aces in a rematch of their Philippine Cup title showdown in 2016 where SMB pulled off its “Beer-acle Run” from a 0-3 series deficit.
Balkman canned in four crucial charities inside the final 45 seconds to highlight a 25-point showing he also laced with eight rebounds and four assists against three errors.
San Miguel 106 – Balkman 25, Cabagnot 21, Fajardo 19, Lassiter 13, Ross 11, Nabong 9, Santos 8, Rosser 0, Heruela 0.
TNT 102 – Romeo 28, Smith 21, Semerad 19, Rosario 11, Castro 7, Pogoy 6, Williams 6, Trollano 3, Taha 1, Carey 0, Reyes 0.
Quarterscores: 27-32, 55-56, 80-77, 106-102.