San Miguel forces TnT to a rubber match

 San Miguel forces TnT to a rubber match
The San Miguel Beermen forced the TnT Tropang Giga to a rubber match in their best-of-seven PBA Philippine Cup semifinal series after taking Game Six, 103-90, on Friday. — PBA Images

The best-of-seven PBA Philippine Cup semifinal series between the San Miguel Beermen and TnT Tropang Giga is going the full route after the former levelled the count at three games a piece with a 103-90 win in Game Six on Friday at the Don Honorio Ventura State University Gym in Bacolor, Pampanga.

San Miguel used a strong run in the middle quarters, where it outscored TnT, 59-41, to create a considerable distance which the Tropang Giga just could not overhaul.

TnT made a spirited fight-back in the fourth period, trimming its deficit to just 10 points, 98-88, with 2:44 to go in the game but could not come closer beyond that as San Miguel went for the closeout after.

Mo Tautuaa led the way for the Beermen in the win, finishing with 24 points, followed by Marcio Lassiter and Terrence Romeo, who had 19 and 16 points, respectively.

Arwind Santos and June Mar Fajardo each had a double-double, with Mr. Santos tallying 13 points and 10 rebounds while Mr. Fajardo had 11 and 14.

For TnT, it was veteran Jayson Castro who top-scored with 16 points. Roger Pogoy struggled anew in the series, ending up with just six points on 2-of-10 shooting.

Heading into the rubber match, which is set for Sunday, the Beermen said they like their chances owing to their experience in such matches.

“I think we have the experience in playing Game Sevens. But we have to build on the momentum that we got here because TnT is a strong team,” Mr. Lassiter said in the post-game press conference.

The winner of the San Miguel-TnT series takes on the victor in the other semifinal bracket between the Magnolia Pambansang Manok Hotshots and Meralco Bolts.

Magnolia, which was leading the series, 3-2, was looking to go for the knockout in Game Six of the series later on Friday while Meralco was angling for a sudden-death match for the series. — Michael Angelo S. Murillo