Marcio Lassiter hit a crucial triple in crunch time to power San Miguel Beer to a 103-95 victory over Alaska on Sunday in Game Two of the best-of-seven championship of the Philippine Basketball Association Governors’ Cup at the Araneta Coliseum, Quezon City.
The win gave the Beermen a 2-0 advantage in the series.
“It’s a nice game for us, we thought we were going to lose because of the adjustment they made. They tried to limit AZ’s [Arizona Reid] output,” said SMB coach Leo Austria. “Fortunately we have Marcio and June Mar [Fajardo] in the post.”
Former San Miguel Beer player Dondon Hotiveros missed two free throws in the crucial stretch with a minute and eight seconds left after Reid’s game-tying basket with still 1:27 remaining in the game.
The 6’1” shooting guard Lassiter, who posted 17 points, including five triples, and seven rebounds, then scored the go-ahead three-point basket to seize the advantage against the Aces 98-95 with a minute left in the final quarter.
Reid, who led the Beermen with 37 points, seven assists and five steals, scored three of San Miguel Beer’s last five free throws in the dying seconds to seal the win.
Fajardo added 16 points and 14 rebounds plus two blocks, while playmaker Alex Cabagnot posted 13 points and five rebounds also for the Beermen.
Alaska import Romeo Travis scored 23 points and 11 rebounds to lead his team.
Meanwhile, San Miguel Beer’s Fajardo bagged the Best Player of the Conference award while Alaska import Travis captured the Best Import trophy for their impressive performances in the Governors’ Cup conference.
Fajardo, who tallied a leading 37.1 statistical points average, beat Talk ‘N Text’s point guard Jayson Castro (29.09) and Ginebra’s seven-foot center Greg Slaughter (29.07).
The 6’10” Fajardo, who could win a back-to-back Most Valuable Player awards before the season ends, finished the Governors’ Cup elimination round with 17.8 points, 11.6 rebounds and 1.6 rebounds. He also earned a leading 1,134 votes from the fans.
Travis, for his part, averaged 23.3 points, 12.5 rebounds and 3.69 assists per game to beat San Miguel Beer import Reid by a wide margin, 1,060 to 1,023 points, in the final tally.
The points are based in the statistics and votes from the media, players, coaches, officials and fans.
Bogs Adornado was the league’s first back-to-back MVP winner in 1975-76, followed by Alvin Patrimonio in 1993-94 and Danny Ildefonso in 1999-2000. Fajardo could join the elite cast of back-to-back MVP winners.
GlobalPort’s playmaker and this year’s rookie top overall pick Stanley Pringle could also take home the Rookie of the Year award.