San Miguel clinches No.1 seed after pulling off huge rally over TNT

San Miguel

The San Miguel Beermen overcame a double-digit deficit in the fourth quarter to down Tropang TNT< 104-98, and clinch the No.1 spot on the last day of the Oppo PBA Commissioner’s Cup elimination round Friday at SMART-Araneta Coliseum.

The victory propelled the Beermen (8-3) to the top of the team standings and handed them a twice-to-beat advantage in the quarterfinals against No.8 seed Star Hotshots.

Tyler Wilkerson maintained his explosive form, scoring 36 points and 15 rebounds. June Mar Fajardo also delivered 18 points and seven boards.

More importantly, the two sparked a Beermen rally in the fourth quarter where they went down by as much as 10 points.

David Simon tallied 32 points and 16 rebounds for TNT which fell to the sixth spot and set up a best-of-three quarterfinal match against Alaska.

TNT had seemed to come away with the win after strong showings in the third quarter and majority of the fourth frame.

Simon scored six straight points at the end of the third frame, while Ryan Reyes and Mo Tautuaa started the fourth quarter with a triple and a layup as they gave TNT the game’s biggest lead, 79-69, with 10:59 left.

But San Miguel climbed back from that deficit after Wilkerson and Fajardo took over. Down by six, 94-88, with over three minutes left, Wilkerson buried a crucial trey that kept them within the game.

Fajardo then scored back-to-back baskets underneath to hand San Miguel the lead, 95-94, with just two minutes to play.

Alex Cabagnot drilled a corner trey with 1:16 left to cap a 10-0 Beermen run that put his team ahead by four, 98-94.

Simon made a split from the line to put TNT within three, but Wilkerson banked in a tough jumper to push San Miguel’s lead to 100-95.

Troy Rosario pumped some life into TNT after burying a trey, but Fajardo answered with a putback. Ryan Reyes then missed a triple before Wilkerson made free throws to seal the win.

The Final Boxscore Result | Replay

SAN MIGUEL 104 – Wilkerson 36, Fajardo 18, Cabagnot 10, Lassiter 10, Ross 10, De Ocampo 7, Santos 7, Arana 4, Semerad 2, Espinas 0, Lutz 0, Tubid 0.

TROPANG TNT 98 – Simon 32, Rosario 14, Tautuaa 10, Williams 10, De Ocampo 9, Ababou 6, Rosser 6, Reyes J. 4, Reyes R. 3, Carey 2, Fonacier 2.

Quarters: 19-20, 43-45, 68-72, 104-98