Beermen shine in third quarter to beat Painters

Highlights – Bayer 04 Leverkusen vs 1. FSV Mainz 05

A stellar third-quarter performance proved decisive as defending champions San Miguel Beermen beat Rain or Shine Elasto Painters 105-92 to level their best-of-seven semifinals series at 2-2.

June Mar Fajardo, a former two-time MVP, scored 33 points and made 16 rebounds and six blocks for the Beermen – the fifth straight time he’s had at least 30 points and 15 rebounds.

While the match was evenly poised early in the third quarter, with the scores locked at 61-61, the Beerman went on a late run, outscoring their opponents 23-2 to put the result beyond any question.

“Thank God we were able to solve our first quarter because usually we have bad starts,” said SMB head coach Leo Austria. “For us, we’re on the brink of elimination because only a few teams have been able to come back from a 3-1 deficit.”

It was important that SMB bounce back from their defeat in Game 3 last Saturday, and their third-quarter blitz allowed them to do just that.

When Paul Lee was called for his sixth foul in the dying moments of the quarter, Espinas made 1-of-2 at the free throw line to stretch San Miguel’s lead to 90-68, and there was no looking back from there.

Also contributing for the Beerman was Marcio Lassiter, who added 20 points, and Arwind Santos, who collected 19 points.

The series continues with Game 5 on Wednesday, also at the Big Dome.

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