FOLLOWING a grueling Game One of the PBA Philippine Cup Finals, San Miguel’s battery of physical therapists are now finding ways to ensure the Beermen stay fresh for the course of the best-of-seven series.
And part of it is to guarantee the healthy food intake of the team.
“Binabantayan namin yung nutrition nila, siyempre high on carbs dapat. Finals na eh kaya may kausap kami (na nutritionist),” team physical therapist Gerald Tenorio told Spin.ph on Thursday after he was tasked by San Miguel team manager Gee Abanilla to oversee the team’s overall diet.
The team’s nutritional need came to fore after the Beermen’s monumental collapse in the finals opener that saw them lost grip of a huge 22-point lead in the first half and lost to Alaska in overtime, 88-82.
June Mar Fajardo played extended minutes for the team after seeing action for 47 out of possible 53 minutes of play.
The 6-foot-10 center failed to get the touches inside as he attempted only nine times and finished the game with just 14 points, although he has 17 rebounds.
Tenorio explained food intake would be crucial at this point because starters like Fajardo, who averages 36.5 minutes per contest this conference, will need all the carbohydrates one needs to sustain himself from an expected grind-it-out series against Alaska.
“Mas mataas ang intensity talaga saka physicality, expected na talaga iyan kasi Finals eh. Kagabi naka-47 minutes siya (Fajardo) so kailangan ng maayos na nutrition,” he said.
The Cebuano big man had difficulty scoring against Alaska’s veteran big men led by Sonny Thoss and Eric Menk, with help defense being provided by Calvin Abueva and Vic Manuel.
The return of Gabby Espinas, another Alaska enforcer, would also spell more trouble for Fajardo.
Edward Bacason, another team physical therapist, added hydration is important every game to avoid leg cramps, along with fruits.
“Importante kasi yung hydration nila kaya nagbibigay kami ng drinks na may kasamang electrolytes,” Bacason said.
“Nagpo-provide din kami ng mga fruits like bananas, apples, and oranges.”
Tactically, San Miguel coach Leo Austria and his team of assistants spend hours viewing tape of Game One as they try to find answer to Alaska’s patented pressure defense which yielded 26 Beermen turnovers on Wednesday.
“I think it’s my fault. Di ko na-control. I think I need to tell them kung ano talaga ang nangyayari. Because of Alaska’s pressure defense, they did a good job on stopping June Mar from getting the ball,” said the soft-spoken mentor.
“Tingin ko may fouls (against Fajardo) pero di tinatawag ng referees, but that’s part of the game. We only have ourselves to blame (for blowing the 22-point lead).”
San Miguel tries to bounce back from the sorry loss when it tries to even the series at one win apiece on Friday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.