Perez CJ Perez of San Miguel Beer delivers in Game 3 victory. PBA photo

San Miguel eyes sweep

May 23, 2024 Robert Andaya 106 views
June Mar Fajardo of San Miguel Beer will be a marked man. PBA photo

TOP seed San Miguel Beer looks to complete a four-game sweep of Rain or Shine, while Meralco seeks a pivotal 3-1 lead over Barangay Ginebra as the PBA Philippine Cup semifinals return to the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.

After posting a convincing 117-107 win in Game 3 at the Dasmariñas Arena in Cavite last Wednesday, the Beermen need only to beat the E-Painters in their next game to advance to the finals of the season-ending conference

The June Mar Fajardo-led Beermen have also beaten the E-Painters, 101-98, and 106-89 earlier in the series.

But San Miguel coach Jorge Gallent said his players must approach what would be the close-out game with the same desperate mentality as Rain or Shine.

“We really have to bring the energy and we really have to step on the gas, because I’m sure Rain or Shine will come out smoking,” said Gallent.

“We just have to match that and do what we’ve been doing. Then I think we’re gonna be okay, We’ll just do it step by step. In case it (sweep) is there, it’s there. If not, we just have to work harder in Game 5.”

While not exactly giving up, Guiao is already talking about the improvement of his youth-laden team playing against the star-studded Beermen.

“Sabi ko nga, we’re in a long game,” said Guiao.

“We want games like this. We want to play the best teams, find ways solving ‘yung mga strengths ng mga ibang teams, trying to improve on our weaknesses. Tingin ko, we’re getting to be a better team every game.”

Asked about Game 4, Guiao is hoping his team can prevent a sweep.

“At 3-0, all you can think about right now is try to get over one game and try not to be swept. Iyon lang naman ang p’wede mong isipin at this point.”

Last Wednesday, Rain or Shine managed to slow down Fajardo, but watched the rest of the San Miguel stars get the job done.

CJ Perez came through with 23 points and 14 rebounds and six other players also scored in double figures as San Miguel moved one win away from booking a ticket to the finals.

Marcio Lassiter added 21 points, including 5-of-10 shooting from three-point area; and Don Trollano added a double-double of 20 points and 11 rebounds for the Beermen.

The Beermen also got 13 points, all in the fourth quarter, from Terrence Romeo; 12 points and three assists from Chris Ross; 11 points, 11 rebounds and two blocks from June Mar Fajardo; and 10 points, three rebounds and three blocks from Mo Tautuaa.

Gallent also played down Fajardo’s 11-point production, ending his seven-game streak of scoring at least 20 points.

“June Mar had his shots, but they just weren’t going in. But he did a great job defending their big guys.”

Games Friday:

(Mall of Asia Arena)
4:30 p.m. — Ginebra vs. Meralco
7:30 p.m. — San Miguel vs. Rain or Shine


Game 1 — San Miguel 101, Rain or Shine 98.
Game 2 — San Miguel 106, Rain or Shine 89.
Game 3 — San Miguel 117, Rain or Shine 107.
(San Miguel leads semifinal series, 3-0)