Mind-boggling turnaround sends Beermen to threshold of finals

The Rain or Shine Elasto Painters started stronger than they did in the series opener. But then the San Miguel Beermen struck back with a bigger fightback than they put up the last time.

And what a turnaround game it was for the Beermen. It was a come-from-behind win for the ages.

A hot-shooting Chris Ross and his teammates made an amazing fightback from a 29-point deficit and won big in the end, fashioning out a 117-105 victory to move on the threshold of the PBA Commissioner’s Cup finale at the MOA Arena in Pasay City Monday.

Ross fired a career-high 10 three-point conversions and a career-best total of 34 points, and the other Beermen had their own magnificent display of firepower in a swashbuckling offensives in the last three quarters, leading to a commanding 2-0 upper hand in the best-of-five semifinal series.

The Beermen, the reigning Philippine Cup five-peat champs, can wrap up the series and get a shot at the second jewel of a possible grand slam in Game Three Wednesday or Game Four Friday or Game Five Sunday, if necessary.

Ross went 10-of-16 from beyond the arc and also collected eight assists, three steals and one rebound without an error in what was easily his career-best performance in the local pro league.

Chris McCullough was his usual self with 22 markers, 11 boards and six dish-offs, June Mar Fajardo had his own double-double with 14 points and 15 rebounds while Alex Cabagnot contributed solid all-around numbers with 17 markers, six dole-outs and four caroms.

Off the bench, two players chipped in double-digit outputs, including Christian Standhardinger who was tossed out early in the fourth due to a second technical infraction.

The Beermen churned out these hulking numbers just through the last three quarters, enabling them to wipe out a 29-point deficit and establish a lead as big as 23 before completing their mind-boggling performance.

After making only 13 points in the opening quarter, the Beermen exploded for 36 in the second period and sustained the juggernaught in the third, outscoring the E-Painters, 40-21.

And the Beermen were simply in cruise control through the payoff period, going on to score a empathic follow-up to their 111-105 win in the series opener Saturday over at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Ross was on fire and went unstoppable, torching the E-Painters with three treys in the second period, another three triples in the third and four more in the fourth.

In the middle quarters, the Fil-American guard threw naughty look at the ROS bench in each he drained a trey.

They were still behind at 59-60 before Ross banged away three three-pointers to highlight a searing run that pushed them ahead at 89-73 at the end of the third.

They had a bigger run earlier in the second quarter from 25-50 down. Going to the halftime huddle, the Beermen were just down by three at 49-52.

After grabbing the lead in the third, there was no stopping the SMB blitzkrieg.— Source: PBA.PH (SB)

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