30 June 2015

Bolts 86, Beermen 102

Bolts vs SMB
June Mar Fajardo and his teammates didn’t renege on a vow.

The San Miguel Beermen kept the promise made during practice Sunday, blasting the Meralco Bolts, 102-86, to book the last berth in the PBA Governors’ Cup Final Four Monday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

"Ang dami namin meetings ng management. Noong practice, sabi nung mga players ko: ‘coach, don’t worry. We will win. Magpapakamatay kami sa laro,'" said San Miguel coach Leo Austria.

The Beermen returned from a shattering loss Sunday in complete focus and lived through with a vengeful triumph that carried them to a semifinal faceoff with the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters.

The other semis pairing pits top seed Alaska and titleholder Star. They start their best-of-five semis duel at 7 p.m. Wednesday also at the Big Dome.

"They put us in a scary situation. Good thing, we were able to adjust overnight," said Austria in their recovery from a 99-106 loss Saturday.

The Beermen jumped the gun on the Bolts, 30-16, and after slowing down a bit in the middle quarters, AZ Reid and his teammates again hit a good rhythm in the payoff period to win convincingly.

San Miguel pummeled Meralco, 30-18, in the first canto and, 35-21, in the final quarter.

Outplayed by Andre Emmett the last time, Reid put in extra effort, piling up 29 points, 11 rebounds, six assists and one steal in a solid all-around performance.

He rattled in 10 points in the last canto, including crucial back-to-back breakaway layups highlighting a backbreaking run that put him in a collision course with his former team Rain or Shine.

Fajardo, Marcio Lassiter, Arwind Santos and Ronald Tubid were also huge factors for the Beermen in the contest.

Fajardo delivered 22 markers and 16 boards while gunners Lassiter, Santos and Tubid fired 17, 15 and eight markers, respectively.

Tubid drained two big treys in the payoff period to make more special a good defensive effort on the Meralco import.

Tubid and Lassiter teamed up in a 12-4 start in the payoff period before Reid scored on back-to-back breakaway layups on Meralco errors as the Beermen regained a double-digit spread at 83-72.

And there was no stopping the Beermen from there.

The Bolts had their moments in the second and third periods, fighting back from 16-30 down to threaten at 61-62.

They had their last hurrah on a six-point binge by Gary David that narrowed down the gap to nine, 79-88, entering the last three minutes of the game.

But then Tubid rifled in his second of two triples in the night, sparking another crucial salvo that opened an 18-point spread for the Beermen at 99-81.

The Bolts finally saw the end of their season, failing to accomplish a bid for at least back-to-back semifinals stints.

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