The San Miguel Beermen averted an early exit in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup after defeating the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters, 104-98 with an all-Filipino lineup on Thursday night at the Philsports Arena in Pasig.
The Beermen played without import Tyler Wilkerson, who had an outburst after their Game 2 loss against the E-Painters last Tuesday. Wilkerson reportedly shouted “Take me back to America” while storming out of the Beermen’s locker room. Hours before Thursday’s game, team manager Gee Abanilla confirmed in an official statement that San Miguel had parted ways with the mercurial import.
With the absence of a high-scoring import, the locals for San Miguel stepped up big time. Marcio Lassiter torched Rain or Shine with 30 points including five triples, atoning for his subpar performance and breaking out of his shooting slump in the first two games of the series. Alex Cabagnot also had a great shooting night, pouring in 28 points. Meanwhile Arwind Santos and June Mar Fajardo chipped in 18 and 13 markers, respectively.
Jericho Cruz scored 25 points for Rain or Shine followed by Paul Lee’s 15 and Maverick Ahanmisi’s 12 markers.
San Miguel will try to tie the series in Game 4 which is set on Sunday at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum. The Beermen are reportedly bringing in Arizona Reid as a replacement for Wilkerson on Sunday. Reid led SMB to last season’s Governor’s Cup Finals.