San Miguel bucks slow start, equalizes Finals with TNT demolition

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09:45 PM June 23rd, 2017

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By: Randolph B. Leongson, June 23rd, 2017 09:45 PM

Chris Ross. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/ INQUIRER.net

San Miguel bucked an early attack from TNT and leveled the 2017 PBA Commissioner’s Cup Finals with a dominant 102-88 Game 2 victory Friday at Smart Araneta Coliseum.

The Beermen weathered an early 17-0 storm from the KaTropa and broke the game wide open in the second half, leading by as much as 23 points, 94-62, early in the payoff period.

Arwind Santos carried the late first quarter fightback from San Miguel to cut the deficit to eight, 32-24, before the Beermen clamped down on defense and held TNT scoreless in the first seven minutes in the second frame for a 52-43 halftime lead that swung the momentum to their favor for good.

June Mar Fajardo carried the Beermen with 22 points, 11 rebounds, and two blocks, while Chris Ross did it all and tallied 20 markers, nine assists, five boards, and four steals.

Santos dropped eight of his 16 points in the first period as he kept San Miguel afloat early while also corralling six rebounds in the tiff.

Charles Rhodes was limited to just seven points after his paltry 3-of-8 shooting from the field, but did his job on the defensive end as he hauled down 11 boards and four blocks.

Game 3 is on Sunday at Smart Araneta Coliseum, with both teams seeking to break the tie and gain the upper hand in the best-of-seven championship series.

It was a frustrating night for TNT, which saw Roger Pogoy ejected with 8:36 left in the third quarter after an apparent low-blow on Santos.

The rookie was held scoreless in his 19 minutes on the floor two days removed from tallying his career-high 27 points in the KaTropa’s 104-102 Game 1 victory.

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