PBA Commissioner's Cup: San Miguel gets past Star for finals berth

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Photo courtesy: PBA Media Bureau

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, June 16) — The San Miguel Beermen are back in the finals.

San Miguel fought past the Star Hotshots, 109-102, in Game 4 of their best-of-five Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) Commissioner's Cup semifinals on Friday evening at the Mall of Asia Arena.

Alex Cabagnot paced San Miguel with 26 points, while Chris Ross, JuneMar Fajardo, and Charles Rhodes added on 24, 22, and 21 markers, respectively.

Things were tight going into the second half, with the Beermen holding a precarious 52-49 lead over the Hotshots.

San Miguel kicked it up a notch after the break, blasting them 31-20 in the third quarter alone to carry a commanding 83-69 cushion before the payoff period.

But despite trailing by as much as 93-76 in the fourth quarter, the Hotshots battled back to pull it within 101-98 through a Paul Lee triple with 1:28 left to play.

Unfortunately for the Hotshots, the Beermen kept their nerve and never let their opponents come closer.

Import Ricardo Ratliffe led Star with 36 points in the loss.

With the finals in sight, San Miguel coach Leo Austria said that fighting for a championship matched his players' pedigree.

"What more can I say, we are back in the Finals?" Austria said. "We are so happy with these hard working players, kasi pinakita nila ang kanilang championship caliber."

The Beermen await the winners of the semifinal matchup between the TNT KaTropa and Barangay Ginebra.