Beermen maul Hotshots, force winner-take-all Game 7

Defending champion San Miguel kept its title-retention bid alive by routing stubborn Magnolia 98-86 in Game 6 on their best-of-seven title series, Sunday night at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

The Beermen, thus, forced a winner-take-all Game 7 which is scheduled on Wednesday, May 15 also at the Big Dome.

With their backs against the wall following a heart-breaking defeat in Game 5, SMB guard Chris Ross kick-started the lopsided affair by draining all five of his three-pointers in the first half to set the tempo of the match.

The Hotshots never recovered from their sister team’s opening salvo and even fell behind by as much as 22 points. They were able to cut the deficit to 6 to close the 3rd but that proved to be their last hurrah as the Beermen stepped on the gas once more to win the game with plenty to spare.

“Happy for our players. Alam nila ‘yung importance ng game na ‘to. Alam nila kung paano manalo ng championship,” said San Miguel coach Leo Austria after the easy win.

June Mar Fajardo showed no signs of the collision he had with ‘Spider-Man’ during the previous game as he led the way for the Beermen with 23 points and 18 boards. Marcio Lassiter broke out of a shooting slump by firing 20. Ross finished with 17 markers while Christian Standhardinger added 16.

Jio Jalalon paced the Hotshots with 17 points while bigs Rafi Reavis and Ian Sangalang finished with 16 and 14 points, respectively.

Mark Barroca, who buried the winning shot the last time around, could only produce 6 points.

The scores:

San Miguel 98 – Fajardo 23, Lassiter 20, Ross 17, Standhardinger 16, Romeo 9, Santos 8, Cabagnot 3, Rosser 2, Pessumal 0.

Magnolia 86 – Jalalon 17, Reavis 16, Sangalang 14, Brondial 12, Lee 10, Barroca 6, Dela Rosa 5, Herndon 5, Melton 4, Simon 0, Pascual 0.

Quarterscores: 25-12, 50-36, 68-62, 98-86.

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