PBA: SMB wins Game 2 vs Alaska; just a win away from finals

MANILA, Philippines – San Miguel worsened Alaska’s wound as the Beermen erased Aces’ 16-point lead to win the game, 105-94 and took Game 2 of their best-of-five semis duel on Monday, July 16, 2018 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

SMB wins Game 2 vs Alaska; just a win away from finals
June Mar Fajardo powered San Miguel against Alaska to win game 2 with 21 points and 18 rebounds | Photo Credit: ABS-CBN News

Downed by 1 game to none and minus their key players: Calvin Abueva and Chris Banchero, the Alaska Aces fixed their focus on this game to level the series against San Miguel.

Diamon Simpson who posted a monster 30-point game last Saturday, looked to replicate his offensive efforts as early as the opening tip off while his counterpart, Renaldo Balkman aimed to outdo his game 1 performance.

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Simpson won his 1st quarter duel versus Balkman with 10 points while the NBA veteran topped his squad with 6 markers.

The Alaska had the best of 1st period against San Miguel with 29-18 lead.

The Beermen didn’t look like themselves in this game. Aside from numerous missed shots, the players showed a very sloppy defense which the Aces capitalized on heavily to escalate their lead to 16 in the second.

SMB took an 11-0 scoring run under 3 minutes of the 2nd quarter and cut Alaska’s margin to just 5 but the Aces woke up after being scoreless for several minutes to cap the 1st half with a 52-41 advantage.

After the halftime break, San Miguel got back to the floor with 3 triples coming from Chris Ross and threatened the Aces to take the lead from them.

It took the Beermen 5 deadlocks before they finally went ahead of Alaska in 3 quarters. San Miguel basically lived by the threes as they began their comeback campaign.

Renaldo Balkman went on beast mode in the latter part of the 3rd quarter to end it with 22 points and his team led Alaska 79-74

Both teams intensified their defense to each other. The scoreboard barely moved midway of the final canto that showed how the players stop fellow players on the court that even Simpson and Balkman had to be restrained by the officials who were both battling for supremacy.

The ballgame was too close to call for the most part of the fourth not until the 3-minute mark where San Miguel’s digit grew to double digits and Coach Alex Compton felt that his team was in deep trouble and in the verge of 0-2 series disadvantage.

Arwind Santos who was quiet in the entire game placed the icing on the cake with a long trey and won game number 2 for SMB, 105-94.

Come Wednesday, July 18, 2018, the San Miguel Beermen can close out the series, occupy the first finals seat and await the winner of Barangay Ginebra - Rain Or Shine semis showdown.

— Joey Boy Capos, The Summit Express

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