The Rain or Shine Elastopainters failed to stretch the PBA Philippine Cup Semi-Finals series to a Game 7 after falling to the San Miguel Beermen, 90-82.
It seemed that in the first half that Rain or Shine was ready to seal the game by leading as much as 15 points (41-26).
The 2nd half provided a different story as San Miguel’s leading scorer and rebounder fell to the ground after a collision with Rain or Shine’s Jireh Ibanes during the 7:11 mark in the 3rd quarter.
Instead of falling down totally, San Miguel found a way to turn the disadvantage to their own advantage by surprising Rain or Shine with a running game in which the Elastopainters were not prepared to face. By the end of the 3rd quarter, San Miguel outscored their opponents 33-17 to lead by 7 points coming in the 4th.
Gabby Espinas stepped up for the injured Fajardo by logging in 9 points in 10 minutes of play. Yancy de Ocampo also provided the extra push by contributing 4 points and 3 rebounds in 12 minutes.
Marcio Lassiter was the top scorer for San Miguel with 22 points but it was Arwind Santos that put up the big numbers with 15 points and 12 rebounds to be the best player of the game.
“It is obvious that we were happy with this win but sad because of what happened to Jun Mar,” said Coach Leo Austria of San Miguel about the win.
“Im glad our players, especially when Jun Mar (Fajardo) got hurt, everybody stepped up. Unlike in the first half when we had no energy.”
In a losing effort, Beau Belga led Rain or Shine with 16 points, 11 rebounds and a block while Gabe Norwood came in with 14 points, 7 rebounds and 4 steals.
A gloomy San Miguel team went out of the Araneta Coliseum with the uncertainty on when Fajardo will be back in the lineup as they face a familiar foe with the Alaska Aces this coming Sunday, January 17 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum to kick off the PBA Philippine Cup Finals.
SAN MIGUEL 90 – Lassiter 22, Santos 15, Fajardo 14, Espinas 9, Ross 8, CAbagnot 6, Tubid 6, Arana 4, De Ocampo 4, Lutz 2.
RAIN OR SHINE 82 – Belga 16, Norwood 14,Ponferada 14, Chan 11, Ibanes 10, Cruz 6, Ahanmisi 5, Quinahan 4, Trollano 2, Tiu 0.
Quarters: 19-16, 37-46, 70-63, 90-82