With a finals slot on the line, San Miguel Beer coach Bobby Parks hopes his wards will play with fire in their eyes in their semifinal rubber match against Malaysia Dragons in the ASEAN Basketball League.
The top-seeded Beermen go into Saturday's 4 p.m. match at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City the favorites to take the best-of-three series and the right to face the Indonesia Warriors in the championship series.
San Miguel escaped with a 111-104 overtime win over Malaysia in Game One at the Olivarez Sports Center in Paranaque two weeks ago. But the Beermen groped for form when they were outclassed by the Dragons in Kuala Lumpur, 100-77, in the second game.
Parks expects the Beermen to play with a lot of fire in the do-or-die match-up at home.
“I felt that we didn’t come out in that second game with a sense of urgency,” said Parks. “We were a bit complacent. This is the playoffs so it’s win or go home. It’s Game Three so I expect them to be ready for this game.”
Four players scored in double figures for San Miguel in Game Two led by Duke Crews with 15 points and Chris Banchero with 13 points, but the Beermen were still outplayed offensively.
Malaysia’s imports Tiras Wade and Brian Williams dominated the game as they scored 60 of the Dragons’ 100 points. Filipino import Patrick Cabahug was also a key factor for the Dragons with 17 points including three triples.
“I’m not so worried about our offense because I know we can score but we have to do a better job on running back on defense because giving up a hundred points is just too much points,” said Parks.
Ariel Vanguardia, Malaysia’s Filipino head coach, hopes the Dragons, who finished the elimination round in fourth place, will continue to shoot well for Game Three after converting 34 out of their 62 shots in their own home court last week.