By Adrian Stewart Co
Marcio Lassiter scored on a game-winning putback as San Miguel Beermen escaped with a 98-96 win over TNT Tropang Giga in Game 2 of the 2021 PBA Philippine Cup semifinals yesterday at the Don Honorio Ventura State University Gym in Bacolor, Pampanga.
With the score tied at 96-all, Lassiter was at the right place at the right time to score on inside misses by teammates June Mar Fajardo and Arwind Santos to complete their come-from-behind win.
Lassiter finished the match with seven points and eight rebounds as the San Miguel Beer leveled the best-of-seven semifinals series with 1-1 win-loss slate.
Terrence Romeo top-scored with 26 points, 15 in the fourth quarter, Fajardo had double-double 22 points and 10 rebounds, while Alex Cabagnot and Arwind Santos had 14 and 11 points, respectively, for the Beermen.
Down by as much as 19 points, the Beermen rode on the exploits of Romeo to trim the deficit to 86-90 but the Tropang Giga widened the lead to 93-86 on a three-pointer by Brian Heruela.
The Beermen leaned on free throws by Fajardo and back-to-back baskets from Romeo to cut the deficit further to 92-93 before taking the lead at 94-93 on two free throws by Lassiter with 23 seconds left.
San Miguel Beer increased the advantage to 96-93 with 10 seconds remaining on two freebies by Chris Ross but Jeth Troy Rosario knotted the game for the last time for TNT at 96-all with a triple.
Roger Pogoy led the Tropang Giga with 21 points, John Paul Erram had double-double 20 points and 10 rebounds as Rosario and Mikey Williams had 14 and 12, respectively.
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, Reyes 2, Khobuntin 2, Exciminiano 0.
Quarterscores: 23-31, 46-53, 67-82, 98-96./ASC, WDJ