The San Miguel Beermen needed three extra periods to dispose the gritty NLEX Road Warriors, 131-127, in the 2016 PBA Commissioner's Cup on Tuesday, April 5 at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
Beermen’s Tyler Wilkerson and Road Warriors’ Al Thornton engaged in a scoring duel, as both imports combined for 127 points. Thornton exploded for 69 points, while Wilkerson was equally impressive with 58 points. Wilkerson got ample support from four other Beermen who scored in double figures to come away with the win. On the contrary, Sean Anthony and Asi Taulava were the only locals for the Warriors who managed to score in double digits.
SMB was leading for three quarters, but NLEX fought back in the final canto, with Thornton and Anthony taking charge. The game was almost over when Wilkerson hit a dagger trey at the top of the key, making it 96-92 with 1:37 left in the game. Thornton answered with a basket, but reigning MVP June Mar Fajardo made a reverse layup for a 98-94 count. A quick basket by Thornton, one missed free throw by Lassiter, and a technical foul on Chris Ross in the final 10 seconds pegged the game at 99-96. Thornton played the hero to send the game to its first overtime by draining a buzzer-beater three, 99-all.
In the extra period, Wilkerson and Alex Cabagnot teamed up to neutralize Thornton and Anthony’s scoring. The second extension ended at 108-all. Thornton continued his scoring onslaught, but the Beermen had answers to his baskets. With just 23 ticks left, the game was tied at 118, SMB ball. However, Marcio Lassiter missed a shot, leaving NLEX with 1.1 seconds. Thornton had a chance to win it for his team as he slammed the ball, but his dunk was not counted when referees made a review.
In the third and last extension, the Beermen finally emerged victorious by leaning on Wilkerson and Fajardo, with the latter scoring on a personal 7-0 run at the start of the third overtime. Wilkerson was selected as the best player of the game by complementing his 58-point output with 13 rebounds, seven assists, and five steals.
Quarter scores: 30-16, 52-45, 80-73, 99-99, 108-108, 118-118, 131-127.