San Miguel asserts mastery over Magnolia to grab a 2-0 PBA finals advantage

Bennie Boatwright’s hot shooting was too much for Magnolia (PBA)

By Leobert Julian A. de la Peña

The San Miguel Beermen moved two wins away from capturing the PBA Commissioner’s Cup championship title after taking down the Magnolia Hotshots Chicken Timplados in Game 2, 109-85, to clinch a 2-0 lead last February 4, 2024, held at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay.

Magnolia kicked off the grand finals duel with a sense of urgency after Paul Lee’s side-step layup on the break gave them a slim 10-9 advantage which led to a San Miguel timeout.

Just when the Chicken Timplados thought they could sustain their level of play, the duo of Bennie Boatwright and Marcio Lassiter spearheaded a massive 17-5 scoring run as they found their stroke from downtown in the remaining five minutes of the opening frame.

From a 9-10 disadvantage, the splash party hosted by Boatwright and Lassiter helped the Beermen retake full control of the game and the lead, 26-14.

After the downtown madness San Miguel did in the first quarter, Magnolia found themselves in the exact scenario during their first game where they started well, only to be spoiled by the Beermen’s late offensive pick-up.

For the rest of the three quarters, San Miguel put the clamps on Magnolia and held them to another sub-par shooting performance.

Boatwright continued his tremendous PBA finals debut after leading the Beermen with 34 points, 10 rebounds, and five assists.

Meanwhile, CJ Perez also had an efficient shooting performance and contributed 20 markers while June Mar Fajardo added 19 points and 14 boards.

Lassiter, Boatwright’s partner during that momentum-clinching first-quarter shooting exhibition, had 11 points for the Beermen built from three triples.

On the other hand, it was only Tyler Bey for Magnolia who reached the 20-point mark after finishing with 22 points and 16 rebounds.

The Chicken Timplados will look to get back on track and win their first game of the finals on February 7, 2024, to be held at the SMART Araneta Coliseum.

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