Beermen gut out a tough win to go up 2-0

The San Miguel Beermen overcame a double-digit first half deficit to take down the Phoenix Fuel Masters, 92-82. They jump ahead to a 2-0 lead in their best-of-seven Semifinals series.

Down one game, the Phoenix Fuel Masters played with more urgency to start Game 2. RJ Jazul and Calvin Abueva sparked a 13-4 run to close the first period, 21-13. They limited the Beermen to just two field goals in the final six minutes of the first period.

Matthew Wright and Jason Perkins took over the scoring in the second period. After the Beermen cut the deficit down three, Perkins and Wright combined for 7-2 run to push the lead up back to seven points. Abueva and Jazul joined the scoring to add to the lead, bringing it up to double-digits at 12 points. The Fuel Masters took a nine-point lead heading to the half.

With the game in danger of slipping away, the Beermen tightened up their game on both ends of the court. Marcio Lassiter and June Mar Fajardo led the offense to start the third period. They were able to cut down the Phoenix double-digit lead down to four points. Lassiter nailed a jumper and two free throws during that run while Fajardo scored on an and-one bucket.

The two continued to help San Miguel claw their way back into the game in the third period, eventually tying the score at 63 heading into the final period.

The Beermen took over the game in the final minutes of the fourth quarter. from a 76-all tie, San Miguel closed the game on a 16-6 run to secure the win. Chris Ross and Lassiter nailed back-to-back treys to push the San Miguel lead up to four. Lassiter then scored on a floater and two free throws to give San Miguel a 10-point lead with 26 seconds left, sealing the win.

Lassiter led the Beermen with 24 points and seven rebounds. Fajardo controlled the paint with 19 points and 18 boards. Terrence Romeo added 14 points off the bench. Abueva led Phoenix with 16 points, 10 rebounds and six assists.