San Miguel Beer displayed immense endgame composure as it repeated over the TNT KaTropa, 106-102, to sweep the best-of-three 2018 PBA Commissioner’s Cup quarterfinals, at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum, Wednesday night.
The Beermen thus earned the right to face the second-seeded Alaska Aces in the best-of-five semifinals showdown.
Not wanting to play a rubber match, Renaldo Balkman stepped up for SMB in the clutch, making four straight dagger free throws on his way to team-high 25 points along with eights boards and four assists.
Alex Cabagnot tallied an all-around performance of 21 points, six rebounds, and six assists, June Mar Fajardo logged 19 points and 12 rebounds, Marcio Lassiter had 13 markers, while Chris Ross produced a double-double as well with 11 points and 10 assists.
After squandering a double-digit lead, the KaTropa had a chance to rewrite the script as Jayson Castro knocked down a trey that tied the game at 98-all entering the final two minutes.
But TNT could not break that deadlock despite multiple offensive possessions, and the Beermen went on to score six straight points from the foul line to close out the win.
Terrence Romeo led the KaTropa with game-high 28 points along with eight assists that just went down the drain.
SAN MIGUEL 106 – Balkman 25, Cabagnot 21, Fajardo 19, Lassiter 13, Ross 11, Nabong 9, Santos 8, Rosser 0, Heruela 0.
TNT 102 – Romeo 28, Smith 21, Semerad 19, Rosario 11, Castro 7, Pogoy 6, Williams 6, Trollano 3, Taha 1, Carey 0, Reyes 0.
Quarter scores: 27-32, 55-56, 80-77, 106-102