San Miguel outlasts TNT in 2OT to tie up the Finals series

It took two extra periods but the San Miguel Beermen took care of business, beating the TNT KaTropa 127-125 to tie the series at one game apiece.

The Beermen back court not only came up with big numbers, they came up with plays time and time again in the game. Terrence Romeo exploded for 29 points on six triples off the bench. Chris Ross had 25 points, four assists and two steals. Alex Cabagnot scored 19 points and dished out seven dimes. The loss wasted a 34-point career night from Troy Rosario. He waxed hot from beyond the arc with eight triples.

Late in the fourth quarter, Jayson Castro engineered a TNT comeback. He slipped past the San Miguel defense for a layup and found Rosario for a go-ahead triple on the drive. TNT settled for a three-point lead with 23 seconds left in the final quarter. The Beermen sued for time and ran a play for the hot hand. Terrence Romeo quickly tied the game at 106 with a cold-blooded triple from the right wing. San Miguel forced a turnover on TNT’s final play to force OT.

In the extra period, Rosario once again found gold from beyond the arc. His three-pointer off a well-executed play broke the deadlock and gave TNT the lead. The KaTropa had their chances to put the game away but Brian Heruela and Troy Rosario muffed four straight free throws leaving the door for a Beermen miracle play.

After Rosario’s second missed free throw with five seconds left in OT, Ross grabbed the board and launched an outlet pass that landed straight to Cabagnot. The Crunchman extended for a game-tying layup with less than a second left to tie the game and send it to a second straight OT.

In the final OT, the Beermen went to the paint repeatedly. They found June Mar Fajardo and Chris McCullough inside for baskets. Fajardo was fouled in the final seconds of the game and sank both free throws to give San Miguel the lead. TNT had a chance to tie the game or take the lead but Castro was stripped after a hard show on during a screen by Ross. That led to a fast break layup to put San Miguel up by four.

Even then TNT still had their chances. Castro quickly answered back with a three-pointer and they fouled the Beermen to extend the clock. With less than 10 seconds left and the Beermen up two, Castro opted to go for the win. His first triple clanked off the back iron. He got his miss and launched another three but that shot also misfired, allowing San Miguel to escape with the win.