MANILA, Philippines – The San Miguel Beermen are focused on following up on their impressive victory in their playoff debut with another victory and the earliest possible advancement to the next round.
The morning following Game One, they viewed and analyzed the footage, paying close attention to the fourth quarter, when the FiberXers made a run but were stopped as the Beermen finished with a commanding 114 to 96 victory.
At 6:45 p.m., the Beermen attempt the tiebreaker knowing what went well and their little mistakes. They will compete for a spot in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup semifinals against the winner of the Bay Area-Rain or Shine matchup on Saturday at the PhilSports Arena.
There’s a chance that the Beermen and the Dragons will engage in a massive battle.
The FiberXers must be eliminated first, though, according to the Beermen.
Jorge Gallent, an assistant coach for San Miguel, said, “The good thing is we’re gelling and we’re healthier now, something that’s not on our side early in the tournament.
The Beermen’s solid defense against the FiberXers on Wednesday was praised by the acting Leo Austria coach since it forced them out of their comfort zone.
Converge’s three-point shooting in particular was scrutinized.
June Mar Fajardo, an SMB ace behemoth, declared, “Ang ganda ng scouting at preparation ng coaching staff namin.”
And neither the SMB coaching staffs nor the players intend to slow things down.
If we played hard (on Wednesday), we must play harder the following game, according to Gallent.
To pave the way for the 1 to 0 running start, the battle-scarred Beermen kept the FiberXers’ renowned three-point shooting and rushing attack in check. Converge struggled against the Beermen’s defense, scoring only seven points in transition, which is only half of their usual 14.3-point fastbreak output, and making only six of their 41 attempts from long range (below their average of 13.4 in the semifinals).
Gallent said, “I personally congratulate and salute all the players, they did all of what we planned and wanted them to execute. And that’s why we got the win today. We practiced hard for two days and were really prepared for their three-point shooting and running game.”
Just last July a very similar clash took place between the two
On a Sunday night that month at the Ynares Center in Antipolo, San Miguel easily defeated Converge, 111-92, for its largest victory to date in the 2022 PBA Philippine Cup.
The Beermen received a lot of support from their stars in yet another strong showing of depth as they recovered from that heartbreaking setback to Ginebra a couple of nights prior to claim their fourth victory of the match.
As a result, SMB and the Kings are currently tied for first place in the team standings. Both of these title favorites have identical 4-1 win-loss records.
Leo Austria, the team’s head coach, claimed that following the team’s setback to the Kings, they “motivated themselves after that loss.”
While June Mar Fajardo recorded a double-double with 18 points and 16 rebounds along with four blocks in a performance that included a rare three-pointer in the first half, Mo Tautua’a finished with 19 points and 10 rebounds.
Six players scored in double digits in the victory, led by Marcio Lassiter’s 12 points, and Michael Canete made the most of his opportunity with 10 points.
Match ended with 111-92, a San Miguel win.