By Vivem Soriano
Eagle News Service
The San Miguel Beermen scored 36 points in the 4th quarter to capture Game 3 of the Philippine Cup Finals with a crushing 111-87 rout of the Magnolia Pambansang Manok at the Araneta Coliseum on Sunday night.
The game was close up until the final quarter. San Miguel led by as much as 13 points in the 1st quarter before Magnolia managed to close the gap to just 7, 29-22, at the end of the opening quarter.
Magnolia managed to inch closer by halftime, trailing by only a point, 50-49.
SMB then heightened the defense during the 3rd quarter, forcing a number of Magnolia turnovers to push the lead to 7, 75-68, heading into the final quarter.
But SMB sharpshooter Marcio Lassiter suddenly caught fire, scoring 10 of his game-high 24 points in the 4th quarter, sparking a 15-0 run as San Miguel’s lead ballooned to 21 points. San Miguel’s bench pounded more misery against Magnolia during the 4th as well, led by Brian Heruela who scored 11 points. The Beermen were so dominant that June Mar Fajardo and Alex Cabagnot even sat out the entire final quarter.
Lassiter added 6 rebounds and 5 steals to his 24 points and shot 5-of-9 from downtown. Fajardo had 21 points in 7-of-13 shooting and pulled down 17 rebounds in just 33 minutes of action. Arwind Santos scored 14 points and blocked 5 shots. Chris Ross contributed 14 points while Cabagnot only managed to score 5 points but dished out a game-high 8 assists.
Veteran guard Mark Barroca led the Magnolia Pambansang Manok with 22 points. Paul Lee had 15 points and 7 assists. Aldrech Ramos added 12 while another veteran, Peter June Simon, contributed 10 points.
To make matters worse for Magnolia, the injury bug once again bit the Pambansang Manok with Lee suffering a jammed finger injury midway during the 4th quarter. The former University of the East main man seemed to be alright and appeared set to return to the game but was held back by the coaching staff as the lead was already out of reach for Magnolia by that time.
If Lee is to miss time, Magnolia would then lose another key player following the loss of Marc Pingris due to an ACL injury and Justin Melton who aggravated his thigh injury in Game 1 of the Finals.
Game 4 will be on Wednesday at the Araneta Coliseum with tip-off set at 7:00 PM.
SMB 111 — Lassiter 24, Fajardo 21, Ross 14, Santos 14, Heruela 11, Espinas 9, Cabagnot 5, Ganuelas-Rosser 5, Pessumal 4, Semerad 2, Vigil 2, Lanete 0, Mamaril 0
MAGNOLIA 87 — Barroca 22, Lee 15, Ramos 12, Simon 10, Dela Rosa 6, Gamalinda 6, Jalalon 6, Sangalang 6, Brondial 0, Herndon 0, Mendoza 0, Pascual 0
Quarterscores: 29-22, 50-49, 75-68, 111-87