San Miguel overcame another 4th quarter scare from Converge and went on to register win number 2, 120-107, in their best-of-three quarterfinal series, Saturday night in the PBA Season 47 Commissioner’s Cup at the PhilSports Arena in Pasig City.
The Beermen were able to establish a 27-point edge but lost the big lead as the FiberXers mounted a furious fightback which trimmed the deficit down to manageable 8 with a little over 3 minutes left on the game clock.
The trio of Simon Enciso, Devon Scott, and June Mar Fajardo, however, saved the day by delivering timely baskets which kept the game out of reach from the Aldin Ayo-mentored squad.
The defending champs, who won Game 1 by 18 points but saw a 31-point lead reduced to 12 in the closing minutes, thus completed a sweep of their higher-seeded opponent and will advance to the semifinal round where they’ll take on the top-ranked Bay Area Dragons in a best-of-five affair.
Terrence Romeo paced the Beermen with 22 points on 7-of-11 shooting with 5-of-6 coming from the 3-point area. The former league scoring champion was perfect from the 15-foot line (3-of-3) and also had a rebound, 3 assists and 2 steals in 20 minutes of play.
“We played good in the first three quarters and a half, and then we just relaxed after the last six minutes of the ball game. We just stopped playing. When we went up by 27, we were running, we were sharing the ball,” said lead assistant Jorge Gallent during the post-game presser.
“We were taking advantage of what we had but after a while, we just stopped playing. And we decided to play basketball not to lose. That’s why they caught up. But nothing to take away from Converge,” he added.
Devon Scott had a double-double output of 20 points and 14 boards but also committed a game-high 8 turnovers. June Mar Fajardo finished with 18 points and 18 rebounds to go with 7 assists and 2 blocks while Simon Enciso scored 16 highlighted by 4-of-6 shooting from beyond the arc. Jericho Cruz and CJ Perez chipped in 15 and 12 markers, respectively.
Game 1 of the semifinals is set on Wednesday, December 14, 3:00pm at the same venue.
San Miguel 120 – Romeo 22, Scott 20, Fajardo 18, Enciso 16, Cruz 15, Perez 12, Lassiter 9, Brondial 8, Ross 0, Canete 0.
Converge 107 – Teng 25, Miller 24, Ahanmisi 12, Ilagan 10, Racal 8, Tratter 7, Melecio 7, Stockton 5, Arana 4, Bulanadi 3, Hill 2, Murrell 0.
Quarterscores: 27-15, 61-44, 97-74, 120-107.