San Miguel nears sweep of Rain or Shine, finals berth

CJ Perez San Miguel Beermen PBA semis

San Miguel Beermen guard CJ Perez.–PBA IMAGES

DASMARINAS, Cavite—San Miguel Beer moved on the cusp of sweeping Rain or Shine in their PBA Philippine Cup semifinal series after securing a 117-107 victory Wednesday at Dasmarinas City Arena here.

June Mar Fajardo wasn’t as imposing as he was in the first two games, but the luxury of a deep roster allowed the Beermen to come away with a commanding 3-0 lead in the best-of-seven series.

Terrence Romeo, Don Trollano, CJ Perez and Marcio Lassiter delivered key shots down the stretch even as the Elasto Painters, who kept the game close and led for portions of the fourth quarter, missed theirs to propel the Beermen one step shy of advancing to the Finals.

READ: PBA: No complacency for San Miguel despite 2-0 semis lead

The Beermen have three chances to close it out, beginning with Game 4 set Friday at Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.

Sixteen of the previous 17 teams have gone on to win after taking the first three games of a best-of-seven.

Perez topscored with 23 points while adding 14 rebounds, five assists and three steals, Lassiter had 21 points behind five triples and Trollano posted 20 points and 11 rebounds.

Romeo added 13 points, but his last shot, a three-pointer with three seconds to go, drew the ire of the Elasto Painters who felt that it was no longer necessary with the outcome already settled.

READ: PBA: June Mar Fajardo powers San Miguel to 2-0 lead vs Rain or Shine

The firebrand San Miguel guard, playing a few kilometers from his hometown of Imus, had to be restrained after a heated exchange of words after the final horn.

Beau Belga was one of six Rain or Shine players who scored in double figures with 19, but also did some heavy lifting containing Fajardo, who only scored 11 on 4-of-14 shooting.

Rain or Shine held its last lead at 95-94 before San Miguel took over.

The scores:

SAN MIGUEL 117—Perez 23, Lassiter 21, Trollano 20, Romeo 13, Ross 12, Fajardo 11, Tautuaa 10, Brondial 4, Cruz 3, Enciso 0.

RAIN OR SHINE 107—Belga 19, Datu 14, Clarito 14, Nocum 14, Caracut 13, Santillan 12, Mamuyac 6, Asistio 6, Norwood 4, Demusis 3, Ildefonso 2.

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Quarters: 25-24, 51-47, 91-85, 117-107.