Beermen fight back from 19 points to sweep Painters, enter PBA finals

Ralph Edwin Villanueva - Philstar.com
Beermen fight back from 19 points to sweep Painters, enter PBA finals
San Miguel's June Mar Fajardo
PBA Images

MANILA, Philippines -- San Miguel would not be denied.

The Beermen came back from being down 19 points and swept the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters, 107-100, Friday to advance to the PBA Philippine Cup finals at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.

They are the first team to make it to the championship round as the Meralco-Ginebra series is currently tied at two games apiece.

CJ Perez spearheaded the Beermen with 26 points, four assists, two rebounds and a steal. Don Trollano added 20 markers and eight boards off the bench.

June Mar Fajardo continued to dominate the paint with 17 points, 23 rebounds, six assists, three blocks and two steals.

After trailing big in the second half, and playing catch up the whole final quarter, the defending champions finally overtook Rain or Shine, 101-100, with a little over a minute to go after a Fajardo layup.

On the other end, Adrian Nocum missed a 3-pointer that would have regained the lead, but missed. CJ Perez, though, would attempt a triple of his own, stepping back from beyond the arc with 25 seconds remaining for the dagger, 104-100.

Jhonard Clarito missed a trey in the next possession, and free throws by Perez and Chris Ross iced the game.

The Elasto Painters looked primed to extend the best-of-seven semifinals to a Game 5 after going up by 19, 73-54, in the third frame with a pair of free throws by Gian Mamuyac.

Rain or Shine was still leading by 14, 89-75, at the start of the final canto.

However, the Beermen slowly came back, unleashing a 13-2 run to pull to within three, 88-91, setting up the wild finish.

In the fourth quarter, San Miguel outscored Rain or Shine, 32 to 13.

“The players just did not quit. They really played well especially in the start of the fourth and they just wanted to end the series now that’s why they played really hard entering the fourth quarter,” San Miguel head coach Jorge Gallent said.

Jericho Cruz and Terrence Romeo provided the spark off the bench with 11 and 10 points, respectively.

Gian Mamuyac led Rain or Shine with 30 points, five rebounds and three assists.

Santi Santillan, Anton Asistio and Beau Belga had 14, 13 and 12, in that order.

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