SAN Miguel Beer coach Biboy Ravanes gave credit to Alaska’s defense, specifically against import Kevin Jones, after the Beermen’s 89-78 loss to the Aces during the PBA Commissioner’s Cup's first out-of-town game in Binan, Laguna on Saturday.
Jones struggled to find his shooting touch against the Aces, and finished with a league career-low of 11 points and 10 rebounds. The 24-year-old West Virginian standout shot just 4-of-17 from the field as Alaska effectively took away his mid-range and inside penetrations.
In his first games with the Beermen, Jones averaged 31.5 points and 16.2 rebounds.
“Malaking factor talaga ng pagkatalo namin 'yung na-stop nila si Kevin. Nalimit nila (Aces) ang production niya (Jones),” Ravanes told Spin.ph on Sunday.
The San Miguel coach acknowledged Jones plays a huge role in the team’s offense and his limited production badly affected the Beermen.
But it was not only Jones who shot poorly from the floor as the entire team struggled with its shot, posting a conference-low 27.8 percent from the field (25-of-87).
Still, Ravanes said the Beermen have a huge chance of getting at least the No. 2 spot, which could guarantee one of two twice-to-beat incentives in the playoffs with their current 5-2 (win-loss) slate.
The longtime San Miguel assistant coach said the Beermen’s showdown with sister team San Mig Super Coffee on April 12 will more or less determine their position in the standings.
“Crucial na 'yung game namin against San Mig. Siyempre, target pa rin naman namin ang No. 2, pero kung sino ang gustong mag-top two, kailangan manalo sa April 12,” he added.
Ravanes said the two-week break gives the Beermen enough time to plot their next move as they try to get a strong finishing kick in their final three elimination round games.