Marcio Lassiter swished the game-winning three as the San Miguel Beermen eliminated the Alaska Aces from playoff contention, 101-100, Wednesday evening at the DHVSU Gym in Bacolor, Pampanga.
The sharpshooter found himself wide open from the left corner and knocked it down with 3.8 seconds left. With no timeouts remaining, the Aces ran the length of the floor but were not able to get off a shot.
"It was a broken play but I knew Marcio would be there, when he swung it by me. I know that he would always be in the corner and I have more confidence in his shooting rather than mine, that's why I made the pass to him," recalled CJ Perez, who made the game-winning assist.
Prior to that, Abu Tratter buried the go-ahead midrange shot with 19.7 seconds to go to give his team a 100-98 advantage. He ended with a game-high 24 points and nine rebounds.
Lassiter finished with 13 points, while Perez led the pack with 20 markers and six boards.
San Miguel opened the game with a 15-point lead, 23-8. The Beermen led 33-19 after the opening frame, led by June Mar Fajardo's eight points.
Alaska went on a 22-8 run at the onset of the second quarter to tie the game at 41-all midway through the period. The Aces went ahead, 45-43, after a circus shot by Abu Tratter. They led 47-43 at halftime.
Robbie Herndon opened the second half with a triple, giving the Aces their biggest lead at seven, 50-43. However, San Miguel retaliated with a 12-3 run to regain the upper hand, 55-53, courtesy of a three-point play by CJ Perez.
The lead bounced back-and-forth between the warring squads, as Alaska took the 77-75 advantage heading to the fourth quarter.
San Miguel led by as much as nine in the payoff period before Alaska stormed back.
San Miguel will take a 7-4 record heading to the playoffs, while the Aces will sink to 3-7.
SAN MIGUEL (101) -- Perez 20, Ross 17, Fajardo 17, Tautuaa 15, Lassiter 13, Pessumal 9, Santos 7, Zamar 3, Gamalinda 0.
ALASKA (100) -- Tratter 24, Brondial 17, Herndon 15, Casio 11, Digregorio 9, Teng 9, Ahanmisi 5, Adamos 3, Banal 3, Ilagan 2, Stockton 2.
Quarter Scores: 33-19, 43-47, 75-77, 101-100.
- The game had 11 lead changes and eight ties.
- Alaska outhustled San Miguel 19 to 2 in second chance points.
San Miguel has finished its elimination round and will advance to the quarterfinals.
Alaska vs NorthPort on Thursday, Sept. 23, 4:35 p.m. at DHVSU Gym