SMB beats Rain or Shine, takes 1-0 lead

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UNOPPOSED  Rain or Shine Elasto Painters’ Jireh Ibañes makes a fast break through the defense of San Miguel Beer’s Chris Ross during the semifinals game of the PBA Governor’s Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City on Thursday. PHOTO BY MIGUEL DE GUZMAN

UNOPPOSED
Rain or Shine Elasto Painters’ Jireh Ibañes makes a fast break through the defense of San Miguel Beer’s Chris Ross during the semifinals game of the PBA Governor’s Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City on Thursday. PHOTO BY MIGUEL DE GUZMAN

The San Miguel Beermen fought fiercely the fourth quarter to post a 101-95 come-from-behind win over the Rain or Shine Elasto Paintmasters on Thursday in Game 1 of 40th Philippine Basketball Association Governors’ Cup best-of-five semifinals at the Araneta Coliseum.

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With the win, San Miguel Beer took an early 1-0 lead in the series.

Import Arizona Reid notched 22 points and 13 rebounds with eight assists, while shooting guard Marcio Lassiter finished with 22 points. Center June Mar Fajardo added 20 points along with 10 rebounds plus two assists and two blocks for the Beermen.

“We missed a lot of shot in the first half and missed badly,” said SMB head coach Leo Austria. “I’m thankful they finally made their shots in the second half. Their defense also improved.”

Aleex Cabagnot produced 15 points plus eight assists while Arwind Santos had 13 points for the Beermen.

The Beermen’s spectacular comeback was highlighted by Santos’ dunk in the end of third quarter that gave them an 80-79 lead.

Import Wendell McKiness led Rain or Shine with 33 points and 16 rebounds, while Paul Lee had 19 points.

Today, the Purefoods’ Star Hotshots will try to equalize the other best-of-five semifinals series when it takes on Alaska at the same venue.

Game time is at 7:00 p.m.

After squandering an 18-point lead in the first half resulting in a loss in Game 1 (91-97) on Wednesday, the Hotshots are expected to play aggressively in Game Two.

“We need to be more aggressive and play with discipline,” said Hotshot forward Jean Marc Pingris. “We have to play in a right way. We must still play as a team.”

“We have to come out aggressive on Friday because we can’t allow Alaska to take a 2-0 lead,” said Star import Marcus Blakely, who scored 23 points and nine rebounds.

Star is also expected to rely on two-time Most Valuable Player James Yap, Mark Barroca, Peter June Simon and Justin Melton, among others.

Alaska eyes a 2-0 lead in the series.

“They [Star] are not a quitter and that’s for sure. I’m expecting they will come back strong on Friday and we must be ready,” said Alaska head coach Alex Compton, who will lean on import Romeo Travis, Calvin Abueva, Sonny Thoss, JV Casio, Cyrus Baguio, Chris Banchero and Vic Manuel, among others.

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