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RoS, San Mig complete Final Four cast

MANILA, Philippines -- San Mig Coffee stayed in the hunt for a potential treble while Rain or Shine remained on course for a possible second straight finals as they outfought Alaska Milk and Meralco in their respective knockout matches in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup quarterfinals at the Smart Araneta Coliseum Saturday night.

The Mixers, the Governors Cup and Philippine Cup titlists, ended the Aces’ reign as second conference champs by making a crucial run late in the second quarter and going on to pull off a rousing 79-65 win.

Earlier in the day, the Elasto Painters bungled an 11-point lead late in regulations, but regrouped in extension play and eventually disposed of the Bolts, 97-96.

San Mig Coffee advanced to the Final Four for the seventh straight conference, getting a shot at a third consecutive finals against surprised semifinal qualifier Air21.

The E-Painters are also back in the Last Four, underscoring the own consistency and competitiveness they have developed under coach Yeng Guiao.

Looming big in the horizon for the E-Painters, though, is a best-of-five semis showdown with the top-seeded Talk n Text Tropang Texters.

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Rain or Shine and Talk n Text open their semis duel at 8 p.m. on Monday while San Mig Coffee and Air21 begin their own semis battle also at 8 p.m. Tuesday.

“We have one day to prepare against the best team in the league right now. We look at that as a challenge. If you want to be the best, beat the best,” said Guiao on their faceoff versus Talk n Text.

“In beating San Miguel Beer, coach Franz Pumaren said they slew a dragon. I’m sure they will also look at us a dragon. Hopefully, we’ll be ready with their irons, swords or whatever,” said San Mig Coffee coach Tim Cone on their showdown with Air21.

The Mixers made a decisive move versus Aces curiously after a commotion involving San Mig Coffee governor Rene Pardo and Alaska official Dickie Bachmann. They took the half at 35-27 and stretched their lead to as big as 18 before completing their conquest of the defending champs.

Alaska and Meralco both failed to make the semis though taking the opener in their respective best-of-three quarterfinals.

“We got to the semis a different way. It’s different from the last conference but the important thing is getting to the semis and being consistent,” said Guiao.

Guiao said they beat Meralco as they found Bolts import Darnell Jackson to be a poor defensive player.

“One thing we discovered after Game One was that their import can’t play defense. We attacked and ran ball screens on him. That’s how we survived Meralco. There’s no other play except to attack him,” Guiao pointed out.

Meralco failed to make the needed adjustments and, for the third straight Commissioner’s Cup, blew away a 1-0 lead in a best-of-three quarters. The Bolts, thus, remain in search of an elusive first semis in PBA playoffs.

David knocked in a tough twinner off Wayne Chism from the right flank with 4.4 ticks left as Meralco forced the overtime play at 85-all.

After falling behind by eight, 87-95, in the extra period, the Bolts again went to David who drained back-to-back treys to push Meralco to within two at 93-95 with 1:15 left.

After two exchanges of possession with no team making a basket, the Bolts got a chance to send the game into a second OT, but David opted to go for another trey, and missed the target badly.

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