Marcio Lassiter banked in a last-second 3-pointer and San Miguel Beer escaped Star, 111-110, to take a 2-1 semifinals lead in the 2017 PBA Commissioner’s Cup Wednesday night at Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Lassiter buried the clutch triple over the defense of Justin Melton with 1.6 seconds left and was mobbed by his teammates after the buzzer.
“We got lucky but luck comes when you are a good player and that’s Marcio,” said SMB head coach Leo Austria in Filipino.
“It’s a team effort especially our import Charles Rhodes, who worked hard from start to finish and he was able to manage his fouls, even though he’s in foul trouble,” Austria added. “We won by a point last game and we won by one point again tonight but it doesn’t matter for us as long as we win.”
Rhodes had 36 points, seven rebounds and three blocks while Lassiter finished with 12 points, four rebounds and three assists. Chris Ross flirted with a triple-double with 27 points, eight rebounds and eight assists.
The Beermen, who won, 77-76, in Game 2 on Monday, will try to close out the Hotshots in Game 4 on Friday still at the Big Dome.
The Hotshots rallied from eight points down inside the final five minutes behind their import Ricardo Ratliffe.
The bull-strong Ratliffe was unstoppable again with 44 points, 19 rebounds, seven assists and four blocks. He also scored his team’s last 10 points, including a hook shot over Rhodes that pushed Star ahead, 110-108, with 13.6 seconds remaining.
The Hotshots had no timeouts left after Lassiter’s go-ahead bucket and they had to settle for a Rafi Reavis heave beyond the half-court line as time expired.