San Miguel erupts in the second half to rout Ginebra for control of the series

San Miguel Beermen 132 – Barangay Ginebra 94 (San Miguel leads 2-1)

After a stunning blowout loss in Game 1, the San Miguel Beermen have been nothing but dominant in the past two games. They demolished Barangay Ginebra in back-to-back games to establish control of the 2018 Commissioner’s Cup Finals. Three Beermen scored more than 20 points in the blowout win. Renaldo Balkman led the way with 28 points, 11 rebounds and three blocks. June Mar Fajardo had 22 points and 15 rebounds. Chris Ross bounced back from a scoreless Game 2 to register 23 points on seven treys.

For the first time this series, it seemed as if the game would be close. The first half was a back-and-forth affair between both teams. It was a game of runs as Barangay Ginebra’s sharp outside shooting gave them a seven-point edge early in the game. Ross’ three-point shooting and Balkman’s inside play pulled the Beermen back into the driver’s seat heading into the second period.

Ginebra got a spark from their bench in the second quarter. Mark Caguioa came into the game and brought the energy and hustle that the starters were missing. He scored 10 points and grabbed four rebounds to help push Ginebra back into the lead. San Miguel supersized their line-up to counter Ginebra’s gambit. With three big men on the floor, the Beermen controlled the offensive boards to regain a slim lead heading into halftime.

The dam broke in the third quarter as the Beermen totally outclassed the Barangay. San Miguel erupted for 39 points in the quarter as they pulled away from Ginebra for good. Balkman’s energy and effort paid dividends as the import powered his team to a 9-0 run to build a double-digit lead to start the quarter. Justin Brownlee scored seven straight points to cut the lead down to just four points. That would be Ginebra’s last stand.

Ross nailed three straight three-pointers to rebuild the double-digit lead. The Beermen, fully gaining momentum in the game got out and running to pile on the points. Balkman scored six staright points in the break, including a ferocious one-handed jam to increase San Miguel’s lead to 14. He scored on another fast break layup right before the quarter ended to give his team a commanding 20-point lead heading into the final period.

It was just extended garbage time at that point. San Miguel opened the fourth period with a 7-0 run to put the game out of reach early. The Beermen bench continued the onslaught as Kelly Nabong and Brian Heruela grew the lead to as big as 39 points. San Miguel cruised to another easy win.

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