Charles Rhodes proved to be Star’s nightmare as San Miguel pulled off a 103-97 victory in the 2017 PBA Commissioner’s Cup Sunday at Smart Araneta Coliseum.
The 31-year-old import churned out his best game to date, finishing with 29 point, including an awe-inducing slam in the fourth period, along with 10 rebounds, and a block, over Chris Javier and Allein Maliksi.
“The players know the importance of this game and I’m happy to see our import competing and showing his pride because he knows that (Tony) Mitchell is a terrific import who will dunk every time he gets a chance,” said coach Leo Austria of Rhodes.
“I hope he could sustain this play for our next games because I can see that slowly, he’s getting how it is played here and he’s also getting in the flow of our chemistry.”
Chris Ross also had his best offensive game of the conference, tallying 19 markers, four boards, two assists, and two steals, while also delivering the dagger drive with 22.6 seconds left to put the Beermen up, 101-95.
— Randolph B. Leongson (@RLeongsonINQ) April 16, 2017
Marcio Lassiter chipped in 16 points on a 4-of-5 shooting from three, while Arwind Santos came off the bench and poured 13 markers and six boards.
June Mar Fajardo got 10 points, 11 rebounds, two assists, and two blocks in the win, which was the Beermen’s third straight.
San Miguel seemed to have put the game beyond reach after Ross put his side up 19, 77-58, late in the third period.
But Allein Maliksi, Mark Barroca, and Paul Lee threatened to pull the rug from under the Beermen, closing the Hotshots within four, 99-95, with a Lee three.
Lee had a chance to further trim the lead, but he muffed his trey in the final minute leading to Ross’s killer layup to seal the deal for San Miguel.
Mitchell scattered 22 points, 11 rebounds, and three blocks for Star before fouling out with 2:49 to play.
Ian Sangalang added 18 markers and six boards, while Lee got six of his 16 points in the fourth period, alongside four rebounds.
Unfortunately, their efforts proved to be moot as Star succumbed to its second straight loss and fell to a 4-2 record.
SAN MIGUEL 103 – Rhodes 29, Ross 19, Lassiter 16, Santos 13, Fajardo 10, Heruela 8, Cabagnot 6, Espinas 2, Semerad 0, De Ocampo 0.
STAR 97 – Mitchell 22, Sangalang 18, Lee 16, Maliksi 11, Barroca 10, Jalalon 9, Simon 7, Javier 2, Reavis 2, Ramos 0.
Quarters: 27-26, 48-42, 77-65, 103-97.