MANILA, Philippines — Forced to a deadlock after a couple of games with the San Miguel Beermen submitting the Game Two, 77-76, to level the count, the PBA team play in a high-stakes contest with a slimmer room now for stumbling.
Much like the 2017 PBA Commissioner’s Cup series opener, where Star Hotshots won, 109-105, the second matchup was another churn-it-out game that was determined in the final seconds.
The San Miguel Beermen had it solid in the first half of the game but the Purefoods Star Hotshots came charging to bounce back hard in the second half of the matchup and were actually in a great position to trump out the higher-seeded San Miguel Beermen in a 2-0 deficit had they made their shots down the stretch.
These two professional basketball franchises had a back-and-forth clash to start the payoff period of Game Two and battled to a 72-70 tally with the Star Hotshots on top with 5:40 time left in the game.
The San Miguel Beermen, however, edged out the Star Hotshots, 7-2, in the next four minutes to regain the lead and give themselves some momentum, 77-74.
Star Hotshots’ star player Mark Barroca had a massive opportunity to equalize the score with under a minute remaining after a potential and-one play but missed the free throw, leaving the Beermen to stay ahead, 77-76.
A San Miguel Beermen turnover after gave Hotshots a chance to steal the victory but guard Paul Lee missed the game victory as the seconds ticked away.
Recognizing the team were able to bolt a massive bullet, San Miguel Beermen head coach Leo Austria could not hide his relief after the game.
“This is the kind of game we are expecting against Star. They are very determined to take the series and we really have to be ready each time,” said Leo Austria. “It’s only a one-point victory for us but we will take it,” he further added.
Import Charles Rhodes pounded the San Miguel Beermen with a total of 21 points and 10 rebounds in Game Two while Alex Cabagnot contributed 13 points and June Mar Fajardo and Marcio Lassiter finishing the game against the Star Hotshots with 12 and 11 points, respectively.
Star Hotshots reinforcement, on the other sode of the ball, Ricardo Ratliffe had a monster double-double of 25 points and 35 rebounds. However, it turned out to be not enough to pull his the Hotshots claim the Game Two.
Rookie guard and Gilas Pilipinas Men’s National Basketball Team member Jio Jalalon contributed 18 points.
Looking forward to today’s matchup, the Beermen coach Austria said he sees the “chess match” with Hotshots to continue. “It’s has been a chess match and it’s going to continue now that it’s a best-of-three,” he added.
On the part of Star Hotshots, despite the team’s unsuccessful win in Game 2, it remains “confident of its chances in the series and in the position it is in.”
The Star hope to pull off a better play in Game Three and bounce back to reclaim the series lead anew and move a step closer to entering the 2017 PBA Commissioner’s Cup Finals for the first time in two years.
The Game Three of the San Miguel Beermen-Star Hotshots series is at 7 P.M. — Velvetiere.com