SAN Miguel Beer has proven it can win a game with its defense, so imagine what the Beermen can do if their offense is in top form?
Adjusting to Star’s pace, the Beermen turned to their defense in holding off the Hotshots, 77-76, on Monday night that tied their PBA Commissioner’s Cup semifinal series at one game apiece.
But it seems “you haven’t seen anything yet” is the message that SMB coach Leo Austria's warning is sending to the Hotshots as the Beermen came into the playoffs with a tournament-best 108.5 points per game.
“I hope na next game, mailabas namin 'yung arsenal namin dahil this is not really our game yet,” Austria admitted after Game Two. “If you will notice, during the eliminations, everybody is enjoying the game and we're averaging 109 points per game.”
“But tonight, we only scored 77, maybe because of the deliberate basketball or the defense of the other team because Star is known for their defense eh,” he added. "It's very obvious, they're relying on that because they're using three guards to pressure our ball-carrier, and they were successful in our last game.”
Charles Rhodes registered 21 points, while Alex Cabagnot, June Mar Fajardo, Marcio Lassiter, and Chris Ross also scored in double figures, but Austria is hoping for more production from the rest of his players.
If their offense continues to sputter, at least the Beermen know they have their defense they can fall back on in Game Three on Wednesday night at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum where they seek to turn the best-of-five series around and take a 2-1 lead.
“Let's limit the production of their players, especially Allein Maliksi,” Austria said. “(Si Ricardo) Ratliffe, given na 'yan, makaka-score because alam mo na masipag eh, lahat ng rebounds pwede niyang kunin and then putback. Most of his points came from that kind of situation eh.”