PBA Finals Game 4: San Miguel makes it 3 in-a-row, sends Magnolia to the brink of elimination

MANILA, Philippines - Aside from June Mar Fajardo winning his 6th Best Player of the Conference Award, San Miguel Beermen posted another win over Magnolia, 84-80, to make it 3-1 series in PBA Philippine Cup Finals on Wednesday, April 4, 2018 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Alex Cabagnot’s 27 game-high points helped SMB secure a 3-1 series advantage
Alex Cabagnot’s 27 game-high points helped SMB secure a 3-1 series advantage | Photo Credit: sports.inquirer.net

Prior to the start of game 4, Beerman June mar Fajardo won his 6th Best Player of the Conference Award and fortified his place in the Most Valuable Player (MVP) plum for this year.

After the opening tip off, Magnolia pushed the ball hard to the basket to gain a head start over San Miguel.

San Miguel stepped on the gas pedal too with a handful of fastbreak opportunities but they missed majority of those while Magnolia got lucky at the basket for an early 18-14 lead.

Hotshots’ defense was simply terrific as they held the Beermen to just 14 markers, Beermen’s lowest quarter-input in the series. With the help of Rome Dela Rosa, Magnolia successfully closed the opener with a 20-14 edge.

Weary of being pinned down 3-1, the Hotshots had nothing in mind but to get even with San Miguel at the end of the day. So, veteran PJ Simon played like there’s no more tomorrow and connected more buckets from the outside as they started the 2nd period.

Midway of the second, Magnolia maintained its decent lead and victorious on defending the newly crowned BPC who was limited to just 2 points and tasted a monstrous block from Rafi Reavis.

At the 4-minute mark, Hotshots suddenly realized that the Beermen finally caught up with them and tied the ballgame at 36-all. Guards Marcio Lassiter and Alex Cabagnot helped SMB with its scoring run.

Despite San Miguel’s offensive momentum, Magnolia still managed to preserved its advantage, 46-45 at the end of the 1st half.

Aside from their lone 2-0 lead during the 1st period, the Beermen jotted down their 2nd lead of the game with Alex Cabagnot’s trey at the beginning of the 3rd quarter.

Ian Sangalang committed his 3rd personal foul early in the third. Nevertheless, Magnolia reclaimed the lead 60-58 with Kyle Pascual manning “The Kraken”.

It was a seesaw battle since the mid of the penultimate period but it was San Miguel who had a better game plan and stood its ground until the final seconds of the third to post a slight 69-64 advantage.

San Miguel had the lead as it entered the final canto. However, it had consumed its 4th team foul with more than 9 minutes left. Worst, Alex Cabagnot, SMB’s leading scorer of the game, committed his 5th personal that slowed down his team and gave Magnolia a chance to bounce back.

Both squads tightened up their defense that resulted to a very low-scoring 4th quarter. With just 4 minutes left in the game clock, the scoreboard barely moved. Nonetheless, SMB possessed a 5-point lead, 75-70.

“The Crunch Man”, Alex Cabagnot, who was in foul trouble in the entire 4th period, stayed on the floor and continued to drop crucial baskets along with Marcio Lassiter to keep their advantage as the 2-minute warning approached.

Magnolia kept its hope alive as the Hotshots closed in at the dying seconds of the game. Coach Chito Victolero’s squad was just behind by 2 points with 37 ticks left and had the ball possession.

It was just a pure mistake when Aldrich Ramos decided to take the lead from the outside and badly missed. Likewise, Arwind Santos failed to make his mid-jumper as SMB’s shot clock expired.

With 9 seconds remaining, Mark Barroca inbounded the ball to Aldrich Ramos and Ramos lost the ball to Arwind Santos. Santos got fouled and completed his charities, 84-80 that paved SMB the way to secure a 3-1 series advantage.

— Joey Boy Capos, The Summit Express

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