by Jonas Terrado
Game Monday (Mall of Asia Arena)
7 p.m. – Rain or Shine vs San Miguel
(San Miguel leads series 1-0)
San Miguel Beer knows that it must play with more urgency than the last time as it seeks another win over Rain or Shine and gain a 2-0 lead in their PBA Commissioner’s Cup semifinal series at the Mall of Asia Arena.
Another victory in the 7 p.m. showdown will move the Beermen a win shy of securing their nine finals appearance in the last 14 conferences but coach Leo Austria warned that his players can’t flip the switch whenever they want.
The Beermen endured a 13-point deficit at the start to carve out a 111-105 win in the best-of-five opener held last Saturday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
“We’re so stubborn because we’re very slow at the start of the game. And I think that’s one thing we have to arrest because we’re giving a lot of confidence to our opponent,” said Austria.
Frustration was evident during the third quarter when import Chris McCullough had to walk out of the huddle after voicing his frustration over the Beermen’s lack of consistency.
McCullough and company were able to figure out a way to solve the issues, with the former NBA player scoring the team’s final five points to secure the win.
Focus will also be on SMB’s perennial superstar June Mar Fajardo, who was held to just nine points and one rebound. His woes prompted the Beermen to tap Christian Standhardinger who finished with 20 points and eight boards.
Rain or Shine coach Caloy Garcia is hoping to avoid making careless turnovers which was evident during the second half.
The Elasto Painters committed five of their 18 turnovers in the final five minutes.
“I don’t want to say it’s inexperience but I think we just made mistakes in the end that a normal player will do. So I just told them we just have to correct that,” said Garcia.