Cruz Jericho Cruz of San Miguel Beer had anotber all-around game for the Beermen versus the Meralco Bolts. PBA photo

San Miguel Beer, TNT strike back

August 8, 2022 Robert Andaya 182 views

SAN Miguel Beer rode on another strong games by the duo of CJ Perez and June Mar Fajardo to roll back Meralco, 96-91, while TNT leaned on the endgame brilliance of Jayson Castro to subdue Magnolia, 93-92, in the PBA Philippine Cup semifinals at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Perez scattered 26 points, including four three-pointers, while Fajardo added 21 points and 16 rebounds as the Beermen bounced back from a shock loss in the previous game and regained control of the best-of-seven semifinal series.

Jericho Cruz contributed 15 points, two rebounds and two assists and Vic Manuel had 11 points and seven rebounds for San Miguel, which took a 121-97 win in the series opener.

“Napakahirap silang talunin. You can’t blink as they’re well prepared and they know what to do. We’re lucky we have big men who can pound them at the post,” said San Miguel coach Leo Austria in an interview posted at the official PBA webdite.

Best Player of the Conference frontrunner Fajardo was at his best in the second half, scoring 15 points in the second half and presiding over a scoring run that gave them a 10-point lead at 83-73.

Chris Newsome led Meralco with 16 points, followed by Cliff Hodge with a double-double of 12 points and 13 rebounds.

Earlier, Castro scored TNT’s last six points, including the game-winning three-pointer, as the Tropang Giga survived another close fight against the Hotshots

Castro’s heroics came after Mark Barroca put Magnolia ahead, 92-90, with 11 seconds left

Castro then drove the length of the court to deliver the game-winner.

“We spoke briefly about our defense, but we focused on our offense, what we were going to do after,” said TNT coach Chot Reyes.

“Whatever happens, whether Magnolia scores or not, we had to score. That was ran exactly the way we wanted, quick inbound to Jayson and the bigs giving him the screen.”

Both the Beermen and the Tropang Giga now have a shot at going up 3-1 in Game Four on Wednesday also at the Big Dome

The scores:

First game

TNT (93) -Erram 22, Castro 16, M.Williams 15, Khobuntin 15, Rosario 8, Pogoy 7, K.Williams 7, Montalbo 3, Reyes 0, Ganuelas-Rosser 0.
Magnolia (92) -Abueva 18, Sangalang 17, Barroca 15, Dionisio 10, Dela Rosa 9, Lee 9, Wong 6, Jalalon 4, Corpuz 2, Laput 2, Escoto 0.
Quarterscores: 18-24, 47-41, 66-73, 93-92

Second game

San Miguel (96) – Perez 26, Fajardo 21, Cruz 15, Manuel 11, Ross 8, Tautuaa 8, Brondial 4, Lassiter 3, Enciso 0, Herndon 0.
Meralco (91) – Newsome 16, Maliksi 15, Black 15, Hodge 12, Jose 9, Banchero 8, Quinto 4, Almazan 4, Pasaol 2, Baclao 2.
Quarterscores: 25-24, 46-42, 71-66, 96-91.