Marcio Lassiter converted a game-winning putback at the buzzer as San Miguel survived TNT, 98-96, Wednesday afternoon in Game 2 of the 2021 PBA Philippine Cup semifinals at the Don Honorio Ventura State University in Bacolor, Pampanga.
The Beermen erased a 19-point deficit in the 3rd quarter to even the series at 1-game apiece.
Terrence Romeo, who provided the spark to help the 27-time PBA Champions overhaul an enormous gap, finished with 26 points on 10-of-22 shooting spiked by 3 three-pointers while JuneMar Fajardo posted an eye-popping double-double of 22 points and 10 rebounds. Veteran forward Arwind Santos contributed 11 points, 6 rebounds and 3 assists.
“Ang first option namin is si JuneMar (Fajardo). And then next is si Terrence (Romeo). But JuneMar was able to have the ball. It was a good play for him but he missed that shot. But Marcio (Lassiter) is still around and ayun yung tinatawag na sense of urgency,” SMB coach Leo Austria’s response when asked if the last play was designed for the 4th overall pick of the 2011 PBA Draft.
“Because of experience, that possession was every important and we’re lucky that he converted it at the right time,” he added.
The Tropang Giga nearly sent the game to overtime after Troy Rosario nailed a three-pointer to the tie the match at 96-all with 6.4 seconds left on the game clock. But the 7-time PBA champs failed to secure the defensive rebound at the other end that led to a go-ahead basket by the 6-time PBA All-Star.
RR Pogoy topscored for the Chot Reyes-mentored squad with 21 points on 47% shooting from the field while JP Erram racked up 20 points and 10 rebounds. Rookie Mikey Williams added 12 points, 5 rebounds and 7 assists.
San Miguel 98 – Romeo 26, Fajardo 22, Cabagnot 14, Santos 11, Perez 8, Tautuaa 8, Lassiter 7, Ross 2, Pessumal 0.
TNT 96 – Pogoy 21, Erram 20, Rosario 14, M.Williams 12, Marcelo 9, Castro 8, Heruela 5, Montalbo 3, Khobuntin 2, Reyes 2, Exciminiano 0.
Quarterscores: 23-31, 46-53, 67-82, 98-96.