PBA Finals: San Miguel bounces back against TNT, levels series 1-1


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MANILA, Philippines – Roger Pogoy’s ejection in the 3rd quarter paralyzed TNT’s offense and gave SMB the opportunity to breakaway with 102-88 win and even the series to 1 apiece on Friday, June 23 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

June Mar Fajardo stood his ground against heavier Joshua Smith.
June Mar Fajardo stood his ground against heavier Joshua Smith. The Kraken recorded 22 big points. Photo Credit: philstar.com
TNT carried on with their scoring momentum from their previous encounter against SMB and started hot in the opening period of game number 2.

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Coach Leo Austria burned an unnecessary timeout with just 2 minutes passed by after the tipoff due to Katropa’s 7-0 run. Coach Austria wasted another 30 second timeout as TNT extended its lead to 14-0.

Finally, at the 7:48 mark, Alex Cabagnot placed SMB on the scoreboard followed by a three pointer from Arwind Santos.

San Miguel made an adjustment on how to defend Joshua Smith by double teaming the hulking import underneath the basket. However, it fired back at the Beermen as they left Anthony Semerad guard less at the three point territory. Semerad drained 3 triples early in the game.

In contrast to his 21 points game 1 - 1st quarter performance, SMB import Charles Rhodes only had 3 markers and the main reason why his team was down 32-24 after the 1st 12 minutes.

From as high as 17 points, TNT’s lead had gone down to just 2 as the bench of San Miguel led by Arwind Santos and Ronald Tubid initiated the attack since the 2nd quarter started.

Charles Rhodes continued what Arwind Santos had started and helped the Beermen in snatching the lead from Katropa from the first time in the game.

Both imports obtained their 2nd personal fouls with more than 4 minutes remaining in the half. Joshua Smith however, was also slapped with a technical foul for unintentionally hitting the referee with a ball.

Ranidel De Ocampo who was under the weather last game due to flu was back in the game to provide depth in TNT’s front court. RDO’s presence however didn’t give his team the fire power it needed from him. Katropa trailed the Beermen 52-43 after the first half.

June Mar Fajardo led all scorers with 12 but 2 more from his fellow Beermen were also in double figures, Arwind Santos and Chris Ross to be specific with 12 and 11 respectively while Jayson Castro topped his teammates with 10.

Arwind Santos wasn’t done yet. He made another long bomb as the 2nd half unfolded. Joshua Smith on the other hand, committed his 3rd personal foul that signaled Coach Nash Racela to pull him out and sent Moala Tautuaa back in.

A fight almost erupted in the 8:36 mark of the third as Roger Pogoy hit Arwind Santos in the groin area while trailing Alex Cabagnot during a fast break. Santos pushed Pogoy but the referees intervened to prevent the altercation. Pogoy was penalized with flagrant foul 2 and was automatically ejected.

TNT lost Roger Pogoy with 20 more minutes remaining in the game and worst they were also behind by 23 points, 72-49.

It’s simply ironic to see SMB up by a humongous margin while its import had his lowest output ever since. Charles Rhodes had 7 points and acquired his 5th personal with 3 minutes left in the third.
San Miguel savored a whopping 28 point lead entering to the final period, 90-62.

Coach Nash Racela waived the white flag at the start of the fourth quarter as he pulled out his starters and sent his third unit to the hard court. Coach Leo Austria showed compassion to his counterpart by resting his key players and let his reserves finish the job.

The crowd went crazy as the infamous Arnold Van Opstal entered the floor. AVO however missed his 2 field goals and his free throws as well with only a rebound to culminate his game 2 stint.

TNT made a big run even without its star players. Katropa managed to cut the lead to 16 from as high as 32 through the marksmanship of Kris Rosales.

TNT threw the towel in and officially handed the victory to San Miguel, 102-88.

Game 3 will be on Sunday, June 25 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum with TNT Katropa having the possibility of parading its new import Myke Myers and rest the hurting Joshua Smith.

Scores:

SAN MIGUEL 102 - Fajardo 22, Ross 20, Santos 16, Cabagnot 13, Lassiter 8, Rhodes 7, Espinas 6, Reyes 4, Agovida 2, Semerad 2, Tubid 2, Heruela 0, Van Opstal 0

TNT 88 - Castro 14, Semerad 12, Rosario 12, Smith 11, Rosales 9, Tautuaa 8, Carey 8, Williams 4, De Ocampo 3, Garcia 3, Hernandez 2, Nuyles 2, Tamsi 0, Golla 0, Pogoy 0.

Quarter Scores: 24-32, 52-43, 90-62, 102-88

-- Joey Boy Capos, The Summit Express

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