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Ross shoots lights out as SMB rips Ginebra for 2-1 lead

Ross shoots lights out as SMB rips Ginebra for 2-1 lead

SAN Miguel turned a close game into a rout in the second half to overcome Barangay Ginebra, 132-94, on Wednesday night and take a 2-1 lead in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup finals at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.

Renaldo Balkman scored five points when San Miguel came out of halftime with a 9-0 salvo while Chris Ross made three consecutive threes in the same quarter after he suffered a nasty cut late in the second.

The Beermen went up by 11 points, 73-62, after that barrage of threes and never looked back, building leads as many as 40 points in the third successive lopsided game in the best-of-seven championship series.

“I’m not expecting this to happen,” said San Miguel coach Leo Austria. “It’s kinda weird na first game, tinambakan kami, second game bawi kami, tambak. This game, another blowout.”

According to PBA chief statistician Fidel Mangonon III, the Beermen’s 38-point margin tied the biggest in PBA Finals history, matching the gap in Alaska’s 99-61 win over SMB in Game 6 of 1998 All-Filipino Cup Finals.

Balkman finished with 28 points and 11 rebounds, while Ross had 23 points, seven rebounds, and five assists while converting seven of his 13 three-point shots.

Justin Brownlee carried the fight for Ginebra with 32 points but veteran Mark Caguioa was the only other double-digit scorer for the Kings with 12 points.

The Beermen actually closed out the second quarter with six straight points to gain the lead, 53-51, at the half. They proceeded to outscore the Kings, 39-21, in the third canto.

June Mar Fajardo had 22 points and 15 rebounds, while Marcio Lassiter and Christian Standhardinger added 12 points each for the Beermen.

The scores:

San Miguel 132 – Balkman 28, Ross 23, Fajardo 22, Standhardinger 12, Lassiter 12, Santos 11, Cabagnot 9, Nabong 6, Pessumal 5, Heruela 4, Ganuelas-Rosser 0, Lanete 0.

Ginebra 94 – Brownlee 32, Caguioa 12, Slaughter 9, Mercado 7, Devance 7, Tenorio 5, Ferrer 5, Chan 5, Mariano 5, J. Aguilar 4, Thompson 3, Manuel 0, Caperal 0.

Quarters: 30-27; 53-51; 92-72; 132-94.