Defending champion San Miguel Beer outlasted Rain or Shine in Game 6 of the PBA Philippine Cup semifinals, 90-82, on Friday to set a title duel with Alaska in the Finals.
Despite losing prized center June Mar Fajardo to injury in the third canto, the Beermen managed to finish the job by weathering the Elasto Painters' resurgence in the final frame.
Arwind Santos and Marcio Lassiter carried the fight for San Miguel, which settled its semis showdown with Rain or Shine, 4-2.
Santos had a double-double of 15 points and 19 rebounds to go with his 2 blocks, while Lassiter top-scored for San Miguel with 22 markers.
Fajardo was inflicting serious damage on the Elasto Painters with 14 points and 12 rebounds, before he accidentally twisted his knee while being boxed out by Jireh Ibanes in the third quarter.
(READ: Fajardo hurts knee, stretchered off court)
Rain or Shine put up a fight in the first half, outscoring San Miguel in the second quarter for a 46-37 half-time lead.
The Beermen took control in the third frame before they were halted when Fajardo went down with the injury.
He was wheeled out of the court for a quick examination and then taken to St. Luke's Medical Center in Bonifacio Global City.
The hit, however, seemed to have triggered the Beermen's aggressiveness as San Miguel closed the quarter with a 70-63 advantage.
The Elasto Painters refused to back down and they were able to battle their way to within 6 points, 82-88, following Beau Belga's free throws with 31.9 seconds to go.
But Lassiter was able to quell the uprising and book San Miguel's return trip to the Finals.
San Miguel will begin its best-of-7 championship showdown with Alaska on Sunday.
San Miguel 90 - Lassiter 22, Santos 15, Fajardo 14, Espinas 9, Ross 8, Cabagnot 6, Tubid 6, Arana 4, De Ocampo 4, Lutz 2.
Rain or Shine 82 - Belga 16, Norwood 14,Ponferada 14, Chan 11, Ibanes 10, Cruz 6, Ahanmisi 5, Quinahan 4, Trollano 2, Tiu 0.
Quarterscores: 19-16, 37-46, 70-63, 90-82
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