San Miguel Beermen displayed immense endgame composure as it got past the Phoenix Pulse Fuel Masters, 105-94, in the Game Five of the 2019 PBA Philippine Cup semifinals on Thursday night at the Cuneta Astrodome in Pasay.
Coming out of the game with a searing offense before averting a meltdown down the stretch, the fifth-seeded Beermen thus eliminated the top seed Fuel Masters in the best-of-seven series, 4-1, to make a return trip to the finals for fifth consecutive time.
Chris Ross showed the way for the four-time reigning title holders, finishing with a game-high 24 points built around five three-pointers on top of six steals, three rebounds, and four assists, conspiring with Alex Cabagnot, who shot 5-of-7 from beyond the arc and had 22 markers and seven assists, in leading the team’s first-half rampage.
The Beermen continued their dominance in the third quarter and the lead eventually grew to its largest at 72-47.
Phoenix, though, came through with a big fightback in the final period, closing the distance to within just four points heading into the last two minutes. But with a championship experience, San Miguel refused to falter, as Terrence Romeo responded with a clutch jumper, before Arwind Santos and June Mar Fajardo canned their free throws to seal the series-clinching victory.
Matthew Wright paced the losing squad with 20 points, while Justin Chua and LA Revilla had 18 and 15 markers, respectively, as Calvin Abueva was held to just a single point but collared 10 boards.
San Miguel will now await for the winner of the Magnolia-Rain or Shine semis series in which the Hotshots currently hold a 3-2 advantage after being down 0-2 in the best-of-seven affair.
SAN MIGUEL 105 – Ross 24, Cabagnot 22, Fajardo 17, Santos 12, Romeo 10, Pessumal 8, Standhardinger 5, Ganuelas-Rosser 4, Lassiter 3, Tubid 0, Nabong 0.
PHOENIX 94 – Wright 20, Chua 18, Revilla 15, Jazul 9, Perkins 8, Intal 8, Kramer 6, Mallari 4, Marcelo 3, Mendoza 2, Abueva 1, Dennison 0.
Quarter scores: 22-15, 51-39, 85-70, 105-94.