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SMB overwhelms TNT for PBA Commissioner's Cup
Published in The Saudi Gazette on 03 - 07 - 2017

MANILA — The San Miguel Beermen made sure there will be no winner-take-all Game 7, pummeling the TNT KaTropa Texters all night long for an emphatic 115-91 victory en route to winning their first PBA Commissioner's Cup crown in 16 years Sunday night.

The Beermen thus clinched the best-of-7 Finals at 4-2, moving closer to a dream grand slam this season having also won the last Philippine Cup. It was also SMB's 24th title in franchise history, five of them under coach Leo Austria in the last eight conferences.

SMB previously won Game 2 of the series, 102-88; Game 3, 109-97, and Game 5, 111-102.

Alex Cabagnot played a huge role in the Game 6 victory, churning out a triple-double of 19 points, 12 rebounds, and 11 assists along with three steals, earning for himself the PBA Press Corps Finals MVP honors. Cabagnot was also a finalist in the Best Player of the Conference race won by his teammate and backcourt partner Chris Ross.

Import Charles Rhodes was just as dominant, scoring a game-high 30 points on top of 11 boards, four blocks, and three assists.

Marcio Lassiter also sizzled all night long, banging in 24 points, including five three-pointers. He also collected five boards, four assists, and one steal plus zero turnover in almost 45 minutes of play.

Arwind Santos came off the bench once again to contribute a significant 17 points, 15 of them in the first half when SMB began pulling away, leading by 20 points, 62-42, at halftime. The man they call the "Spiderman" also had seven boards, two steals, and one assist in 32 minutes.

Ross added 14 points, seven boards, three assists, three steals, and one block in 41 minutes.

June Mar Fajardo played less than 14 minutes and contributed only two points on just three attempts at the basket along with four rebounds and two assists.

Troy Rosario led TNT with 21 points while Roger Pogoy chipped in 16 markers.

TNT's hulking import Joshua Smith spent more of his time on the bench than on the court, tallying just 15 points and six rebounds.

Jayson Castro made 13 shots but scored just 13 points in another miserable night for the TNT's top gunner. He also committed six turnovers in 29 minutes of play.

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