MANILA – San Miguel Beermen explored its height advantage to hack out a 106-101 victory over TNT KaTropa in Game 4 of the 2019 Honda PBA Commissioner’s Cup finals last night at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
June Mar Fajardo and Chris McCullough went to work in the second half and took advantage of KaTropa’s undersized frontline to level the best-of-seven finale series to 2-2.
McCullough tallied double-double 27 points and 26 rebounds while Fajardo chipped in 22 markers and seven boards.
The Beermen is seeking its second straight title this season.
Alex Cabagnot and Von Pessumal, meanwhile, were on point from outside. They finished with 25 and 14 markers, respectively, and combined for six three-point conversions.
The KaTropa surged to an early 14-7 start behind Celedonio Trollano but the Beermen quickly erased the deficit and surged to 31-22 edge behind McCullough, Cabagnot and Chris Ross.
The Beermen maintained a 45-39 lead on hits by Cabagnot and Arwind Santos in the second period. The The KaTropa, however, got a huge lift from reinforcement Terrence Jones as they took a 52-51 halftime edge.
The Beermen relied on Fajardo in the third period. His consecutive inside hits gave them a 74-65 edge, which later went up to its largest at 84-69 on baskets from Cabagnot and Ross.
The KaTropa did not easily give up. It mounted a huge run in the fourth behind Jones and Castro to come to as close as 96-98. An inside hit by Fajardo, however, and free throws by Cabagnot sealed the win for the Beermen.
Jones finished with 32 points, 16 rebounds, six assists and six steals but had 6-of-16 shooting from the free throw line, while Jeth Troy Rosario added 24 markers and eight boards for the KaTropa./PN