The Beermen reach the PBA Finals of the Philippine Cup after a see-saw Game 5
Heading into tonight's Game 5, one team is aiming to wrap things up and head for their 4th straight Philippine Cup Finals while the other team is aiming to keep alive and extend this series to a Game 6.
Despite Japeth Aguilar's explosive performance plus Scottie Thompson's huge triple-double, they weren't enough as the San Miguel Beermen outlasted the Barangay Ginebra Gin Kings, 100-94 to take the series at 4-1 and became the first team to reach the finale of the Philippine Cup.
In a game that was basically a roller coaster ride all game long, it all went down to the very last minute. Ginebra had many chances to inch closer but fumbled to the very end. It was an unfortunate ending to a game which saw Scottie Thompson who had 10 points, 16 rebounds, and 16 assists. For a guy of his size, those rebounding numbers are huge and are probably one of the reasons why Thompson is among the leading candidates to start in the All-Star Game. Sayang!
So how did San Miguel survive this game? Below are the numbers:
SMB's Starters Dominated
- June Mar Fajardo- 25 points (9 rebounds and 3 assists)
- Marcio Lassiter- 25 points (5 for 12 3-point shooting)
- Matt Ganuelas-Rosser- 14 points (8 rebounds)
- Arwind Santos- 11 points (13 rebounds)
- Alex Cabagnot- 12 points (5 rebounds and 5 assists)
Now, this is something that has been expected since the start of the season as San Miguel has the best all-local starting unit and in this game, in this series, the starters of Leo Austria came through for their team and in fact, Game 5 saw Chris Ross coming off the bench as he is currently nursing an injury. Fortunately for him and the Beermen, Matt Ganuelas-Rosser stepped in Games 4 and 5 to provide the additional firepower that Chris Ross used to provide.
Unfortunately for Ginebra, only Japeth Aguilar (32 points) and Scottie Thompson (10 points) were the only starters of Tim Cone who scored in double figures as Joe Devance only scored 9 points on 4 for 10 shooting while LA Tenorio went 3 for 16 from the field for his 8 points of the night. Prince Caperal was held scoreless.
Execution on Both Ends
In a game that saw both teams take a double-digit lead before going wire-to-wire in the final minutes, San Miguel relied on their execution on both ends of the court. Offensively, sure they've missed a couple of shots but when the game is on the line, they delivered. Alex Cabagnot nailed a 2-point shot to bring the Beermen up by two under two minutes to play while Marcio Lassiter made 4 straight free throws to seal the deal. Defensively, they didn't allow any easy baskets for Ginebra as June Mar Fajardo managed to block Japeth Aguilar's lay-up attempt in the final stretch. They stood firmly on the ground.
For Ginebra, the "what ifs" are started to come around. What if Greg Slaughter was around? Would that alone have any difference in the outcome of the series? Possibly.
For San Miguel, their work is not yet over as they need to wait for the winner of the other semifinal series to know their opponent in the finals. For now, they should the time to rest up and heal up their banged bodies because it's likely that they will do a lot of banging and running come the PBA Finals.
SAN MIGUEL 100 - Fajardo 25, Lassiter 23, Ganuelas-Rosser 14, Cabagnot 12, Santos 11, Ross 5, Espinas 5, De Ocampo 4, Pessumal 1.
BARANGAY GINEBRA 94 - J. Aguilar 32, Mercado 14, Ferrer 10, Thompson 10, Devance 9, Tenorio 8, R. Aguilar 7, Cruz 4, Caguioa 2, Caperal 0.
Quarters: 25-34, 55-55, 83-76, 100-94.