San Miguel Beer is just a win away from clinching the PBA Philippine Cup 2017 Championship as it made short work of a sloppy Ginebra side in the Finals Game 4, 94-85, on Friday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
The emphatic victory made the path clearer for the Beermen en route to their third-straight Philippine Cup trophy, which they will attempt to bag on Sunday in the Finals Game 5 Battle still at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Coach Leo Austria’s Beermen landed an instant stronghold as soon as the first canto began when they fired 11 quick points to hold Ginebra scoreless for a good number of minutes in the beginning quarter.
San Miguel only worsen the dilemma of the GinKings when Marcio Lassiter sent 7 baskets, anchored on his crisp treys to stretch the opening bubble for the Beermen.
Just as June Mar Fajardo received his fifth-consecutive Best Player of the Conference Award before the Game 4 dogfight commenced, “The Kraken” himself displayed yet another proof why he deserve the recognition.
Fajardo made his gigantic presence felt with his double-double output of 20 points and 13 rebounds, which was a handful for Ginebra.
San Miguel still capped off the second period with flying colors, yet Coach Tim Cone’s wards would not go down without their own show when Joe DeVance, despite his untimely foot injury, spearheaded Ginebra’s comeback on the third canto with his 14 points alone to cut the deficit.
But the Beermen, who was paced by yet another stellar stance by Chris Ross, foiled Ginebra’s efforts heading to the fourth canto as Ross retaliated with 14 points, which stretched their lead just as the third period closed.
And on that note, it was San Miguel Beer all throughout the finishing kick.
Alongside Fajardo, Marcio Lassiter finished with 20 hits as well, followed by Chris Ross and Alex Cabagnot with 17 and 13 points, respectively.
On the other hand, Barangay Ginebra San Miguel endured its second-straight loss in the Best-of-Seven Finals series despite its four double-digit warriors.
Joe DeVance led the GinKings with 22 points, while Japeth Aguilar and LA Tenorio were both limited to 12 points apiece.
In addition, Chris Ellis capped off with 10 baskets for Ginebra.
SAN MIGUEL BEER (94) – Fajardo 20, Lassiter 20, Ross 17, Cabagnot 13, Santos 8, Tubid 8, De Ocampo 5, Espinas 3, Heruela 0
GINEBRA (85) – Devance 22, Aguilar 12, Tenorio 12, Ellis 10, Thompson 7, Ferrer 6, Mercado 6, Marcelo 4, Caguioa 3, Mariano 2, Cruz 1, Taha 0
Quarterscores: 30-18, 55-34, 76-63, 94-85