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)