With the Rain or Shine versus Magnolia series now tied two games apiece, the San Miguel Beermen made sure they won’t fall in the same predicament.
The reigning Philippine Cup champions once again asserted their dominance over the Phoenix Pulse Fuel Masters and ran away with a 114-91 victory in Game 4 to go up three-games-to-one in their best of seven semifinals affair inside the Cuneta Astrodome on Tuesday.
Terrence Romeo waxed hot after the halftime break, notching 17 of his game-high 20 markers in the fourth. The 27-year-old guard drained six three-pointers, to go along with four rebounds and four assists.
Things got chippy at the 2:28 mark of the second quarter when RJ Jazul dropped to the floor after a scuffle with Alex Cabagnot. Things escalated further when Alex Mallari and Matt Ganuelas-Rosser almost came to blows after a heated verbal sparring. Both players were assessed with technical fouls, but it was Mallari who bore blunt of the blame and received two disqualifying fouls.
The squabble lit a fire under the Beermen, as they went on scoring binge and held on a 59-48 lead at the half. Coach Leo Austria’s wards amped up the intensity in third, outscoring their counterparts 30-15 for a 26-point margin heading into the fourth.
Phoenix never recovered after that ambush in the third, and San Miguel’s bench made sure to finish the job in the final frame. Starters Cabagnot, Arwind Santos, and Chris Ross also finished in double figures, with 18, 16, and 10 markers, respectively.
Calvin Abueva once again led the Fuel Masters with 19 points and 15 boards, while gunner Matthew Wright struggled from the field and missed 11 of his 14 total attempts for six points. Jaypee Mendoza was also ejected from the ball game with 12 seconds left in the third for using profane language.
San Miguel will look to close out the series on Thursday, April 25 at the Cuneta Astrodome.
San Miguel (114) — Romeo 20, Cabagnot 18, Santos 16, Ross 10, Pessumal 10, Standhardinger 9, Fajardo 9, Rosser 8, Nabong 7, Zamar 5, Vigil 2, Lassiter 0, Mamaril 0, Tubid 0.
Phoenix (91) — Abueva 19, Jazul 9, Marcelo 9, Perkins 8, Chua 8, Kramer 7, Intal 7, Napoles 7, Wright 6, Mendoza 4, Mallari 3, Revilla 2, Dennison 2, Guevarra 0.
Quarterscores: 27-20, 59-48, 89-63, 114-91.
(Image from PBA Media Group)