Simon Enciso clutch as SMB survives Bay Area to extend semis series

With the images of San Miguel’s Game 1 collapse flashing back, Simon Enciso made sure to write a different ending this time around.

Simon Enciso bounces back from a scoreless performance in Game 2 by nailing the clutch triple for SMB (PBA Images)

The streaky shooter nailed a booming triple from the right wing as San Miguel Beer lived for another day following a nail-biting 98-96 victory in Game 3 of their best-of-five semifinals series in the 2022 PBA Commissioner’s Cup.

A fitting bounce back performance from a scoreless outing in Game 2, Enciso rifled in 16 points built on four triples – none bigger than the one he drilled that shoved the Beermen ahead for good with 12 seconds left in the clock -- pumping up a very much engaged crowd inside the venue.

Devon Scott, after being held to his lowest outputs in the first two games of the series also came up big with 25 points and 14 rebounds including his game-saving block over Bay Area’s Game 1 hero Kobey Lam in the Dragons' final possession that cut the series deficit, 2-1.

June Mar Fajardo picked up where he left off posting 21 points and 16 rebounds while CJ Perez and Terrence Romeo added 17 and 13.

It was a nip-and-tuck affair inside the final five minutes of the game with CJ Perez and Andrew Nicholson trading baskets for a 90-89 count in favor of the Beermen. Zhu Songwei, limping and all, still managed to give the Dragons a two-point cushion after a layup and a split from the free-throw line.

Enciso nailed a huge jumper from the elbow before Perez and Zhu traded free throw splits. Lam, who scored the go-ahead basket in the tight 103-102 Bay Area win in Game 1, proved to be the biggest thorn to the side of the Beermen as he buried a wide open right corner triple to give his team the lead.

That was when Enciso retaliated with a triple of his own which proved to be the dagger to the heart of the Dragons.

Andrew Nicholson dropped 34 points and 14 rebounds to pace Bay Area while Zhu added 17 before exiting the game due an injury.

SMB tries to drag the series to a winner-take-all in Game 4 on Wednesday at the Mall of Asia Arena.