San Miguel, TNT close out series

June Mar Fajardo and San Miguel are expected to feel the heat from TNT Tropang Giga in Game 7 of their PBA Philippine Cup title series tonight at the Smart Araneta Coliseum. | Photograph by Rio deluvio for the daily tribune @tribunephl_rio

Game today:
(Smart Araneta Coliseum)
6 p.m. — San Miguel vs TNT

Series Summary:
Game 1: TNT 86, San Miguel 84
Game 2: San Miguel 109, TNT 100
Game 3: San Miguel 108, TNT 100
Game 4: TNT 100, San Miguel 87
Game 5: TNT 102, San Miguel 93
Game 6: San Miguel 114, TNT 96

One team wants to defend its crown while another wants to end its drought.

It’s the point of no return for San Miguel Beer and TNT Tropang Giga today as they put everything on the line in Game 7 of the Philippine Basketball Association Philippine Cup best-of-seven finals at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

The deciding game is set at 6 p.m. with the Beermen eyeing to put the finishing touch after a lopsided 114-96 victory over the Tropang Giga on Friday.

Already pressed against the wall, San Miguel took advantage of TNT’s incomplete lineup to arrange a potential photo finish for the all-Filipino diadem.

Snipers Marcio Lassiter and Simon Enciso stole the show by demonstrating a heavy barrage of threes that keyed their victory.

Lassiter scorched hot for 22 points on stellar 6-of-7 outside shooting, while Simon Enciso had his best game wearing a San Miguel jersey, finishing with 20 points and two boards.

Moala Tautuaa led the support cast with 15 points and eight rebounds, Jericho Cruz had 11 while June Mar Fajardo produced 10 points, 12 rebounds and five assists for the Beermen, who spoiled RR Pogoy’s 31-point explosion for TNT.

SMB head coach Leo Austria knows the job must be done as they aim to end their frustrating three-year drought.

“After six games, we already know where we’re going. We learned that we cannot rely on any individual,” Austria said.

“It could be a team effort. We need everyone to contribute and play well, especially on defense.”

“I think it will be different. TNT will fight with a lot of energy because that’s an opportunity.”

Without finals hero Jayson Castro and Glenn Khobuntin, the Tropang Giga were beaten black-and-blue.

Mikey Williams had his most frustrating performance with only two points on an ugly 1-of-13 shooting.

As Castro’s status remains uncertain, Pogoy remains confident that the struggling Williams will rediscover his lethal form.

A win over the Beermen will put them as the sixth winningest squad in the league history, tying Toyota with nine crowns.

“I know Mikey will definitely bounce back and hopefully Jayson could also play for us today,” Pogoy said.

“I had to step up in Game 6. But if we really want to win, we have to limit San Miguel’s offense.”


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