Marcio Lassiter stole the limelight from the imports, hitting the game-winning triple with two seconds left as San Miguel Beer escaped with a 111-110 thriller against the Star in Game 3 of their best-of-five semifinal series on Wednesday in the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) Commissioner’s Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Lassiter picked up the loose ball after the missed attempt of Chris Ross and banked a three-pointer to give the Beermen a 2-1 series lead.
“We are very lucky in this game,” said San Miguel head coach Leo Austria. “I’m happy for him (Lassiter). But it is a total team effort and Charles Rhodes really worked hard from start to finish and managed his fouls.”
San Miguel’s win spoiled another solid performance from Hotshots import Ricardo Ratliffe, who tallied 44 points, 19 rebounds, seven assists and four blocks.
Ratliffe was responsible in leading the Star back in the game and his turn-around hook over Rhodes gave the Hotshots a 110-108 lead with 13.6 ticks left.
Austria sued for a timeout and went to Ross, who drove down the lane but missed his high-arching drive.
Ratliffe tapped the ball and Lassiter collared the offensive rebound, stepped back against Justin Melton for the banked shot and the game winner.
The Hotshots had two seconds left to hoist a decent shot but Rafi Reavis’ heave was way off the mark to absorb their second straight loss in the series.
Rhodes also had an explosive performance with 36 points, some were rim-rattling dunks, while Ross tallied another all-around performance with 27 points, eight rebounds and eight assists.
Lassiter finished with 12 points while June Mar Fajardo netted 18 points and eight boards.
Paul Lee rebounded from a poor Game 2 performance with 21 points off the bench for the Star.