Romeo Terrence Romeo of San Miguel Beer takes a shot during Game 3 of the PBA semifinal series against Rain or Shine. PBA photo

San Miguel on verge of return to finals

May 23, 2024 Robert Andaya 168 views
Beau Belga of Rain or Shine drives hard to the basket. PBA photo

THREE down, one to go for San Miguel Beer.

CJ Perez came through with 23 points and 14 rebounds and six other players also scored in double figures as San Miguel held off Rain or Shine, 117-107, to move one win away from booking a ticket to the PBA Philippine Cup at the Dasmarinas City Arena in Cavite.

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, who need only to win again on Friday to complete a four-game sweep in their best-of-seven semifinal series and advance to the season-ending finals.

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.

“The boys were really composed, especially in the last five minutes ng game. We knew where to go pagdating sa endgame,” said San Miguel coach Jorge Gallent in the post-game interview.

“Fortunately, Terrence’s shots went in and Don’s went in, so that’s a good a sign for us,” added Gallent, whose team has lost just two games the entire conference.

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 June Mar’s effort was there and he has to do a lot of things. He has to score, he has to chase their big men because they were shooting a lot of 3s, they spread the floor. He did a great job defending their big guys.”

Beau Belga topscored with 19 points, including 6-of-12 clip from beyond the arc, for Rain or Shine, which battled San Miguel to 23 lead changes and six deadlocks before fading in the end.

Adrian Nocum, Jhonard Clarito and rookie Keith Datu controbuted 14 points apiece.

In PBA history, the last 17 teams which went up 3-0 in the best-of-seven series went on to win, including eight via sweeps.

San Miguel will have its chance when the series returns to the Mall of Asia Arena on Friday.

The scores:

San Miguel (117) — Perez 23, Lassiter 21, Trollano 20, Romeo 13, Ross 12, Fajardo 11, Tautuaa 10, Brondial 4, Cruz 3, Enciso 0.
Rain or Shine (107) — Belga 19, Datu 14, Clarito 14, Nocum 14, Caracut 13, Santillan 12, Mamuyac 6, Asistio 6, Norwood 4, Demusis 3, Ildefonso 2.
Quarterscores: 25-24, 51-47, 91-85, 117-107.

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)