Fajardo June Mar Fajardo of San Miguel Beer will be a marked man in Game 4. PBA photo

San Miguel eyes 3-1 lead

August 28, 2022 Robert Andaya 406 views

SAN MIGUEL Beer looks to take a commanding 3-1 lead and move closer to the coveted All-Filipino trophy when it takes on defending champion TNT Tropang Giga in Game 4 of their PBA Philippine Cup finals on Sunday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

The Beermen defeated the Tropang Giga, 108-100, in overtime at the Mall of Asia Arena last Friday 2-1 to turn the momentum in the best-of-seven series to their side.

Another victory by the Beermen in the 6 p.m. encounter would put them one win away to capturing their 12th All-Filipino championship

It will also be sweet revenge for the Beermen, who were eliminated by the Tropang Giga in the semifinals in the last Philippine Cup at the Don Honorio Ventura State University gym in Pampanga, last October 2021.

San Miguel, which now won the last two games, also obviously learned its lesson after watching Jayson Castro deliver the game-winning basket in TNT’s 86-84 triumph in the opener.

Last Friday, San Miguel became the first team to win back-to-back games with a gutsy overtime victory over the Tropang Giga.

Best Player of the Conference candidate June Mar Fajardo led the assault with a monster double-double performance of 27 points and 27 rebounds,

Jericho Cruz and Marcio Lassiter tallied 18 and 13 points, respectively.

But the Tropang Giga, who are expected to welcome head coach Chot Reyes back to the bench, are looking to tie the series at 2-2.

Reyes missed two games for TNT after calling the shots for Gilas Pilipinas in the FIBA World Cup qualifiers in Beirut, Lebanon.

Meanwhile, NBA veteran Thomas Robinson will be San Miguel’s import in the coming PBA Commissioner’s Cup.

The 6-10 Robinson who played in the NBA for five seasons with Sacramento Kings, Houston Rockets, Portland Trail Blazers, Philadelphia 76ers, Brooklyn Nets and Los Angeles Lakers, averaged 4.9 points and 4.8 rebounds per game .

The 31-year-old Robinson also played in Russia, China, Turkey, South Korea and Puerto Rico.

After he played in South Korea with the Seoul Samsung Thunders, he came back to Puerto Rico to play in Nacional League with Piratas de Quebradilla.

Robinson was also part of the Kansas Jayhawks team which finished first runner-up behind Kentucky Wildcats and Anthony Davis in 2012 US NCAA championship.

He was also drafted in the first round by the Sacramento Kings as the fifth overall pick.

Robinson will be the highest NBA pick to play in the PBA since 1987 pick Dennis Hopson of Purefoods Carne Norte in 1996.