San Miguel Beermen 134 – Barangay Ginebra 109 (Series tied 1-1)
In Game 1, the San Miguel Beermen were “humiliated” by Barangay Ginebra. The defending champions were seething after being on the receiving end of a blowout loss. They poured out all their frustrations in Game 2 to deliver a resounding win, tying the Finals series. Alex Cabagnot scored a career-high 33 points. Five other Beermen scored 20 or more points. June Mar Fajardo had 25 while Renaldo Balkman, Marcio Lassiter and Christian Standhardinger scored 20.
The Beermen’s new energy was evident from the start. They focused their efforts on stopping Ginebra and pounding the ball inside. San Miguel was active defensively and forced Ginebra to eight turnovers in the first quarter alone. On the offensive end, San Miguel continuously attacked the paint. They jumped out to an 11-point lead early in the game as Balkman, Fajardo and Cabagnot all scored inside. Ginebra was able to cut the lead down to six points but the Beermen were on fire. Cabagnot and Lassiter found their range to restore the double digit lead.
It was all San Miguel from that point on. Balkman, Fajardo and Cabagnot continued to pound the ball inside as they grew their lead up to 21 points. Ginebra tried to cut the lead down but the Beermen had an answer to every Barangay run. Near the end of the first half, Cabagnot hit back-to-back-to-back treys to push San Miguel even further ahead. They went into halftime leading by 29 points in a dominant first half showing. The Beermen didn’t ease up as they continued to pour on the points.
The game got chippy in the final period. Arwind Santos was caught giving Scottie Thompson a shoulder in the midsection midway through the final period. He was given a Flagrant Foul and ejected from the game. A possession after, Joe Devance got entangled with Chris Ross on a rebound sequence. Ross was given his second technical foul of the game and was thrown out as well.
None of that mattered in Game 2. The Beermen were able to build enough of a cushion in the first half to hold off Ginebra for a big win.