PETRON rookie coach Gee Abanilla admitted the physicality of Rain or Shine took his big men out of rhythm in an 87-92 loss in Game Three of the PBA Governors Cup semifinals Saturday night.
The physical game had the Boosters struggling from the floor as they shot just 32.9 percent overall, with towering rookie June Mar Fajardo the biggest casualty as he attempted just nine times during the game at the Astrodome.
Also with a bad shooting night was import Elijah Millsap who was a woeful 4-of-21 from the field, while MVP statistical leader Arwind Santos finished 4-of-10 in the game.
“The main story was we allowed them (Elasto Painters) to just hang around until the end of the game when they started to hit some shots and then we committed some turnovers,” rued Abanilla, eyeing to steer Petron back to the Finals since the franchise won the 2011 Governors Cup.
The soft-spoken Petron mentor said the Boosters will just have to learn to live the physicality of the match from here on especially after Game Three was marked by a lot of shoving and hard tackles.
“I think we just have to live with the physicality of the game. The referees are allowing that (pushing and shoving),” he said.
“I think it should be called the same way, some of the players down low could not operate inside because of the physicality.”
Abanilla said the physical plays are but natural since the defending champions are in a do-or-die situation after losing the first two games of the series.
“Well, they are desperate already being down 0-2. Talagang expected na namin they will do something about the situation,” said Abanilla, whose team will again try to close out the series in Game Four on