6. San Miguel Beermen 121 – 3. TNT KaTropa 110 (San Miguel leads 1-0)
The San Miguel Beermen came back from a 23-point hole in the second quarter to win against the TNT KaTropa. The Beermen put on a show in the fourth quarter to put the game away and take a 1-0 series lead.
TNT started the game out on fire. They zoomed out to a 10-0 lead and continued to drop bombs in the first period. They finished with 40 points and a 19-point first quarter lead. Everyone got into the scoring act as Kelly Williams, Jayson Castro and Terrence Romeo all hit treys to end the first period. Joshua Smith scored on a jumper early in the second period to give TNT their biggest lead of the game. The Beermen were able to cut the lead down by nine points but they still faced a 17-point hole midway through the third period.
San Miguel didn’t allow TNT to rebuild the lead. June Mar Fajardo and Marcio Lassiter teamed up to score nine points as they inched closer to TNT. Renaldo Balkman joined the fray as Fajardo continued his onslaught. He scored six points in San Miguel’s 15-6 run to close the third quarter. The Beermen took momentum away from TNT and were only down two points heading into the final period. That’s when San Miguel unleashed their killer run.
Smith put TNT ahead by three points midway through the fourth period. But San Miguel answered with a 16-0 blast led by Balkman to pull away from TNT for good. Balkman was awesome on both ends of the floor. He finished with 36 points, 16 rebounds, two steals and two blocks. Fajardo had 27 points and 13 boards. Lassiter added 26 on four treys.
5. Barangay Ginebra 88 – 4. Meralco Bolts 81 (Ginebra leads 1-0)
Justin Brownlee filled up the stat sheet once again to lead Barangay Ginebra to another win. They extend their streak to six games and take a 1-0 lead over the Meralco Bolts in their quarterfinals series. Brownlee logged 25 points, nine rebounds, six assists, two steals and two blocks to lead Ginbra.
The Bolts built a seven-point lead in the second quarter as Jared Dillinger, Baser Amer and Anjo Caram found their range from the outside. Back-to-back hits from Dillinger and Caram gave the Bolts their biggest lead of the game at 10 points early in the third period. In danger of getting blown out, Ginebra focused their offensive attack inside. Brownlee and Greg Slaughter pounded the ball inside as they went on a 13-3 run to tie the game. Ginebra pulled ahead by five points in the third period as Brownlee and Jeff Chan hit their jumpers from outside.
Brownlee continued to drive Ginebra forward. He scored on a jumper early in the fourth period to give Ginebra a nine-point lead. Merlaco still had a chance to get back in the game when Arinze Onuaku and Dillinger scored two straight baskets to cut the lead down to just five points. But Brownlee shut the door on them when he drilled a dagger trey with 28 seconds left to put Ginebra up by eight.