Mendoza: Provoking SMB dangerous

·2 min read

You just don’t provoke San Miguel Beer. You’ll regret it. It will make you pay.

Stung by a humiliating Game Three 115-98 defeat inflicted by TNT Tropang Giga on Oct. 8, 2021, the Beermen bounced back in grotesque fashion only two days later.

Vengeful like stoned brigands armed with axes, picks and machetes, the five-time PBA Philippine Cup champions became a bunch of blood-thirsty marauders in administering a grisly 116-90 massacre of a hapless, pitiful, TNT crew.

What was supposed to be a Sweet Sunday Show became a Sick Sunday Scene, with the Beermen reducing Tropang Giga virtually into a band of worthless opponents.

If you were a Pinoy movie buff, you might have likened the last two games as films depicting FPJ as being pummeled in Game Three, only to spring back to life in Game Four to obliterate his tormentors using his rapid-fire, killer, punches.

SMB was a la FPJ in Sunday’s game, indeed, immediately blasting away from the start and never giving TNT a.k.a Paquito Diaz even a teeny-weeny bit of a chance to fight back.

After quickly erecting a 26-14 first quarter lead, SMB sustained its torrid start behind two snappy threes by Arwind Santos for an 18-point, 32-14 lead at the start of the second quarter.

Mo Tautuaa, the bulging SMB forward, made it a 20-point margin with two free throws before the Beermen dropped a crippling 19-9 bomb to make it a 31-point lead at 53-22.

After slowing down a bit to settle for a 25-point, 57-32 halftime bulge, SMB resumed speed, its unbridled wrath producing a 37-point, 81-44 spread on a Marcio Lassiter three midway into the third quarter.

The win evened their best-of-seven semifinal series to 2-2, yes, but more importantly, it gave San Miguel that much-needed boost to advance against a team much-ballyhooed as a major title-contender.

But why TNT took a major stinker can be largely faulted on RR Pogoy, who was a mere 1-of-8 in the first half after scoring 26 points in Game 3.

And with the rookie hot shot Mikey Williams going 1-of-8 in that same span, TNT got itself buried more deeply in shit than ever—a garish, if not sordid, dent on Giga’s collapse.

If TNT doesn’t dig out from the Game 4 wreckage in Wednesday’s Game Five, San Miguel might just nail a return to the Finals.

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