San Miguel Beer jumped the gun on Talk N Text using a big 40-point first quarter en route to a monster 114-96 victory on Friday to level their best-of-seven PBA Philippine Cup showdown at 3-all at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
Marcio Lassiter and Simon Enciso were at the forefront of the Beermen’s dizzying offense as they led by 40-24 at the end of the first period and were in command up to the last buzzer to arrange a winner-take-all game for all the marbles with the Tropang Giga on Sunday, also at the Big Dome.
Lassiter banged in 22 points, while Enciso backed him up with a conference-best 20 markers to lead the charge for Ramon S. Ang franchise.
The hot-shooting duo combined for 12-of-18 from the outside as San Miguel Beer punched the Tropang Giga in the mouth right in the opening minutes. In the first half alone, Lassiter and Enciso buried nine treys as the Beermen led by as many as 26 in the first half, before posting a 63-50 halftime lead.
Best Player of the Conference JuneMar Fajardo stayed in the sidelines with 10 points, and focused on protecting the boards with 13 rebounds, five assists, and a block.
“That was what I was waiting for—for everybody to click. Marcio is shooting well, and Enciso, too. There’s no need for JuneMar (to score). We need JuneMar, and every game, nandu’n naman siya,” said SMB coach Leo Austria.
TNT was looking to close out the series, but the absence of chief playmaker Jayson Castro, who sprained his ankle in Game 5; and Glenn Khobuntin, who was out due to an MCL injury, tolled heavily on the Tropang Giga’s bid.
The best that the Tropang Giga could muster was to close in to within nine at 62-71, but the Beermen pumped up the assault once again with a 10-0 bomb, including a buzzer-beating triple by Jericho Cruz for a 92-68 advantage.
The Beermen were so dominant, they even led by 30 points, 112-82, with 3:42 left in the final quarter.
Backing up Lassiter and Enciso was CJ Perez, who was also a crucial part of the early-game Beermen charge as he finished with 20 points.
TNT’s Roger Pogoy made 31 points, but his efforts went for naught as top offensive man Mikey Williams was limited to a conference-low two points on 1-of-13 shooting from the field.
SAN MIGUEL 114—Lassiter 22, Perez 20, Enciso 20, Tautuaa 15, Cruz 11, Fajardo 10, Brondial 6, Manuel 5, Ross 3, Pessumal 2, Canete 0, Herndon 0, Zamar 0, Faundo 0
TNT 96—Pogoy 31, Tungcab 12, Rosario 10, Montalbo 8, K.Williams 8, Marcelo 5, Banal 3, Cruz 3, M.Williams 2, Ganuelas-Rosser 0, Reyes 0
QUARTERS: 40-24, 63-50, 92-68, 114-96