WHO would you rather put your focus on at San Miguel Beer – the Beermen’s myriad of shooters or their big men led by June Mar Fajardo?
Alaska picked its poison and choked on it on Sunday when the Beermen came away with a 103-95 win in Game Two and a 2-0 lead in the PBA Governors’ Cup Finals.
The Aces decided to concentrate on Fajardo, who was limited to just four attempts.
But that left the Beermen’s gunners on a field day as Marcio Lassiter knocked down five three-pointers, AZ Reid hit four, Alex Cabagnot three while Arwind Santos, Chris Lutz, and Ronald Tubid added one apiece.
Even Chris Ross, who is not exactly known for his shooting, went a perfect 2-of-2 from beyond the arc.
That's 17 three-pointers in all compared to Alaska's five.
Fajardo still made a significant impact, making his living from the free throw line, shooting 10-of-14 to still finish with 16 points along with 14 boards and two blocks in 38 minutes.
No wonder coach Alex Compton and the Aces are in a bind.
“This is what causes me sleepless nights,” Aces coach Alex Compton said. “The dilemma we have is the most dominant local in the game also requires attention.”
“It’s a nice combination they have,” the American tactician added of SMB’s powerhouse lineup. “It causes us problems.”
Compton did see some positives as they kept the game close unlike in their 30-point blowout loss in Game One, even leading by nine points early in the fourth quarter.
“I thought we generally played Alaska basketball most of the game — we grinded it out, we came back.”
But the Aces’ defense once again failed to hold up as they allowed the Beermen to explode for 25 points in the last six minutes, including 13 unanswered to end the game.
“Twenty-five points in an entire quarter for us is high,” Compton said.
Now the American rookie coach has two days to find ways to find a defensive scheme that works if the Aces are to avoid falling into a 0-3 hole - a deficit no team has overcome in a best-of-seven series.
“I don’t think that I gave our guys enough different options for us to implement against their ball screen,” he added. “It’s challenging with all the threats they have.”