MANILA, Philippines – San Miguel couldn't have staged a better redemption story against Barangay Ginebra as it equalized the 2018 PBA Commissioner's Cup finals at 1-1.
The Beermen – who absorbed an embarrassing 28-point drubbing in Game 1 – turned the tides and annihilated the Gin Kings, 134-109, in Game 2 of the best-of-7 affair before a mammoth crowd at the Araneta Coliseum on Sunday, July 29.
After being limited to 5 points in Game 1, Alex Cabagnot broke out of his shell and scattered a career-high 33 points to go with 9 assists, 4 rebounds and 4 steals.
San Miguel zoomed to a 75-46 halftime lead thanks to Cabagnot's 22 first-half points and did not look back as Ginebra only managed to trim its deficit to as close as 19 points.
It was not just Cabagnot's show, though, as 5 of his teammates breached double figures – with 4 of them chipping in at least 20 points.
June Mar Fajardo frolicked in the paint with 25 points and 8 rebounds, Renaldo Balkman chalked up 20 points, 11 rebounds and 3 assists while Christian Standhardinger had 20 points, 7 rebounds and 5 assists.
Marcio Lassiter churned out 20 points and 5 assists and Santos, who was ejected midway through the 4th quarter for elbowing Scottie Thompson in his torso, added 14 points, 4 assists and two steals in the win.
Justin Brownlee had a performance far from his 42-point explosion in Game 1 but still finished with 29 points, 6 rebounds, 5 assists and 3 steals to lead 5 other Ginebra players in double figures.
Thompson and Joe Devance churned out 16 points apiece and conjoined for 13 rebounds and 10 assists while Greg Slaughter and LA Tenorio added 15 and 13 points, respectively, in the losing effort.
Game 2 is on Wednesday, August 1, at the same venue.
San Miguel (134): Cabagnot 33, Fajardo 25, Lassiter 20, Balkman 20, Standhardinger 20, Santos 14, Mamaril 2, Ross 0, Lanete 0, Ganuelas-Rosser 0, Pessumal 0, Vigil 0
Ginebra (109): Brownlee 29, Devance 16, Thompson 16, Slaughter 15, Tenorio 13, Mercado 11, Chan 4, R. Aguilar 2, Manuel 2, J. Aguilar 1, Ferrer 0, Caguioa 0, Cruz 0, Caperal 0, Mariano 0, Jamito 0
Quarter scores: 34-23, 75-46, 99-79, 134-109
Delfin Dioquino dreamt of being a PBA player, but he did not have the skills to make it. So he pursued the next best thing to being an athlete – to write about them. He took up journalism at the University of Santo Tomas and joined Rappler as soon as he graduated in 2017.