By Michael Angelo S. Murillo, Senior Reporter
THE San Miguel Beermen routed the TnT Tropang Giga, 116-90, in Game Four of their best-of-seven Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) Philippine Cup semifinal series on Sunday to level the affair at two games apiece.
San Miguel used a fiery opening half where it took control on both ends of the court to establish a commanding 27-point lead, 57-32, at the break.
It continued to pound on the Tropang Giga in the second half, stretching its advantage to its highest at 37 points, 81-44, at one point in the third quarter en route to the big victory.
Mo Tautuaa led the Beermen’s thorough attack, finishing with a game-high 25 points, 19 coming in the telling first half where they buried the Tropang Giga, to win player of the game honors. He also had nine rebounds.
Terrence Romeo added 16 points for San Miguel, with Marcio Lassiter and June Mar Fajardo each scoring 13 points.
“We wanted to have a strong start. In the first three games, we played catch-up throughout and we did not want that to happen in this game,” said San Miguel coach Leo Austria in the postgame press conference, describing the mindset they had entering the contest.
“We also worked on our defense. It was important for us to limit the offense of TnT to give us a better chance of winning,” he added.
But Mr. Austria was quick to point out that they should not celebrate much as there are still games left to be won and that the Tropang Giga are only expected to come back stronger and more determined.
For TnT, it was Jayson Castro who top-scored with 15 points, followed by Glenn Khobuntin with 13 and rookie Mikey Williams with 11.
Roger Pogoy struggled all game long for the Tropang Giga, finishing only with two points on a poor 1-of-10 shooting from the floor.
Making matters worse for TnT was big man JP Erram unable to finish the match after suffering a head contusion in the second quarter and was taken to the hospital for further tests. He had three points, two rebounds and one block before getting hurt.
Game Five of the San Miguel-TnT Philippine Basketball Association semifinal series will be on Wednesday, still at the Don Honorio Ventura State University (DHVSU) Gym in Bacolor, Pampanga.