Monday, December 06, 2021

Mendoza: What a time for SMB to take the day off

All Write

If you failed to watch Game 7 between TNT and San Miguel Beer on Sunday, October 17, 2021, no worries. You didn’t miss anything.

No frills.

No spills.

Not even a single spectacular play to remember.

It was a game totally bereft of pulse-pounding rallies, ball-diving, triple-treats to die for, leather-stealing stunts.

Tropang Giga won, all right. But its 97-79 victory was as dull as Manny Pacquiao’s lethal punch in the boxer’s waning years.

In short, it was all TNT show. Shockingly, not even a cameo role was seen from SMB.

Oh, wait, the Beermen had a brief hog of the spotlight. They took a 23-15 first quarter lead on the strength of five three-pointers—two from CJ Perez, and one each from Alex Cabagnot, Terrence Romeo and Chris Ross.

But then, in a bizarre turnaround, San Miguel went downhill, allowing TNT to post a quick 43-32 lead before yielding a 45-36 halftime deficit at the DHVSU Gym in Bacolor, Pampanga.

From there, the Beermen would busy themselves bungling play after play in contrast to Tropang Giga’s steady shepherding of its mission to nail a second straight trip to the PBA Philippine Cup Finals.

RR Pogoy, scoreless in TNT’s Game 6 loss, kept puncturing the nets in a deadly 27-point outing. Limited to just four, first-half points, he scattered 10 points in giving TNT a 67-55 third quarter spread that stretched to an unreachable 97-71 margin behind a blistering 20-4 run.

Pogoy got support from rookie Mikey Williams (20 points, eight rebounds, six assists), Kelly Williams (11 points, 10 rebounds) and Poy Erram (nine points, 11 rebounds).

In sum, it was a night to remember for TNT.

What a time for SMB to take the day off, leaving only June Mar Fajardo to practically man the office. His 22 points and 16 rebounds were all in vain as the vaunted talent of his teammates vanished in one fell swoop during the craziest last three quarters of SMB’s basketball life.

Beermen Mo Tautuaa and Terrence Romeo even left the game injured in the third quarter and never came back.

And look at this: Marcio Lassiter, SMB’s most reliable gunslinger, was 0-for-8. Zero. Just like that. It was like seeing Facebook owner Mark Zuckerberg suddenly going bankrupt.

After slaying a giant, TNT will next face Magnolia in a title showdown much-ballyhooed as suspense-filled. We’ll see.


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