The San Miguel Beermen make it back to a familiar place. For the fifth straight year, they’re one of the final two teams competing for the Philippine Cup Crown. The Beermen held steadfast in the clutch to beat the Phoenix Fuel Masters, 105-94. San Miguel eliminated Phoenix in five games to set-up their return to the Philippine Cup Finals.
The Beermen carried over the composure they found in Game 4 as they started the game strong. The back court duo of Chris Ross and Alex Cabagnot set the tone for San Miguel, knocking down back-to-back three-pointers to open the game. The Beermen’s outside shooting stayed on point for most of the first half.
Terrence Romeo added outside shots to keep San Miguel up near the end of the first period. In the second quarter, Von Pessumal hit two straight treys to increase the Beermen’s lead to double-digits for the first time in the game. Cabagnot and Ross resumed their offensive onslaught midway through the second period. The two combined for all the points in a 10-2 run that pushed the Beermend advantage up to 16. San Miguel settled for a 12-point lead heading into the half.
The Beermen held on to a safe lead for most of the second half until Phoenix tried to make one final run to get back into the game and keep their Playoff hopes alive.
Led by Matthew Wright and Justin Chua, Phoenix chipped away at the San Miguel advantage. The two combined for 11 points as Phoenix outscored San Miguel 22-11 in the first nine minutes of the final quarter. The Fuel Masters cut the deficit down to just four points with 2:38 left in the game.
Unfortunately for Phoenix, that’s the closest they’d get. Romeo teamed up with Arwind Santos, June Mar Fajardo and Cabagnot to go on a 7-0 run to close the game. The Beermen held off the Fuel Masters’ rally to close out the series.
Ross and Cabagnot led the Beermen in scoring. Ross dropped 24 points with five treys while Cabagnot had 22 and five triples. Fajardo complimented the outside scoring of his guards with 17 points and 16 rebounds in the paint. Matthew Wright had 20 points but his production came too late in the game.