IT seemed Michael Craig Jr. had more bark than bite in his highly anticipated first meeting with San Miguel Beer in the PBA Governors’ Cup on Wednesday night.
After announcing his upcoming arrival in a word war from the sidelines against SMB players in Game Three of the last Commissioner’s Cup Finals, the TNT Katropa import failed to lead his team to victory as they fell short against the Beermen, 97-91.
Craig, though, was man enough to admit that SMB was the better team.
“They played a good game, they executed their game plan, played inside-out with the big man the ball kicking it out for threes,” Craig said. “I felt they did a good job doing that.”
Chris Ross said in Game Three of the finals last June 25 that part of Craig’s trash talk was his announcement of being TNT import in the season-ending conference.
“The guy told me he's playing next conference, I said I'm not worried about the next conference I'm worried about the game right now,” Ross said after Game Three that SMB won, 109-97. “If that's what he wants to do is talk then he'll have his time to back it up and next conference.”
“I heard he's a really good player, hope is he is. If he's good then it's good for the league,” he added.
At least Craig somehow lived up to expectations as he finished with 16 points, 18 rebounds, four assists, and three steals against the Beermen after putting up a triple-double in his debut last week.
Still, the Beermen had the last laugh – with Ross making his presence felt by orchestrating the SMB offense and finishing with 10 assists, eight rebounds, and four points.
“Oh he did pretty good,” Craig said of Ross. “He did what he was supposed to do as a point guard - come out and give his guys the ball, push the ball on the court, I mean he's a good player, he's a big reason why his team has been successful the past two conferences.”