Beermen sizzle in the fourth quarter to take series lead over Hotshots

San Miguel Beermen 111 – Magnolia Hotshots 87, San Miguel takes a 2-1 series lead

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The San Miguel Beermen pulled away late in Game 3 to overwhelm the Magnolia Hotshots and take the lead in the 2018 Philippine Cup Finals.

San Miguel looked like the benefitted from the long break in between Finals games. They looked like a refreshed champion team in Game 3. Chris Ross set the tone early. He scored eight points built on two three-pointers as the Beermen jumped out to a 13-7 lead early in the game. The Beermen’s outside shooting was on point. Alex Cabagnot, Marcio Lassiter and Brian Heruela added one trey each to extend the lead to double-digits. The Hotshots put up a fight early in the game. The guard trio of Paul Lee, Mark Barroca and PJ Simon ganged up in the second quarter to bring Magnolia back in the game. The Hotshots cut the lead down to just one point heading into the half.

The Beermen started the third quarter just like how they started the game. Arwind Santos scored on a four-point play to open the second half and extend the lead up to five. The other starters took advantage of that momentum-swinging play and dropped buckets from beyond the arc as well. June Mar Fajardo powered his way into the paint to extend the lead back up to double digits. Magnolia tried one last time to overtake the Beermen. Rome Dela Rosa’s two free throws got Magnolia to within three-points with less than three minutes remaining in the third period. That was the closest they’d get.

San Miguel’s bench came alive to open the fourth quarter. After Barroca cut the lead down to six with a trey, the Beermen bench mob powered a 15-0 run to help San Miguel build a 21-point lead. Brian Heruela, Matt Ganuelas-Rosser and Gabby Espinas scored eight points during that run to open the final period. Heruela scored on an up-and-under layup followed by a Lassiter bomb and a Santos pull-up three-pointer as the floodgates opened and they extended their lead to 24. The Beermen powered their way to a 2-1 lead.

Lassiter was on fire from beyond the arc. He scored 24 points on five treys. Fajardo had 21 points and 17 rebounds. Ross and Santos scored 14 points each while Heruela scored 11 points off the bench. The Beermen’s bench scored 33 points to offset the 40 points from the Hotshots bench.

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