Regaining lost ground in semis against Painters more a mental battle than technical one, says SMB coach
Coach Leo Austria is making no major adjustment on plays, saying the Beermen simply need to relax to win. Jerome Ascano

IT’S more mental than technical for San Miguel Beer, says its coach, as they seek to level the PBA Commissioner’s Cup semifinal series against Rain or Shine on Tuesday at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.

The Beermen, who lost Game One, 98-94, last Sunday after squandering an early 18-point lead, hope to sustain this time what worked for them in building that first-quarter lead as they face the Elasto Painters in Game Two of the best-of-five series at 7 p.m.

“We need a little bit of discipline and sense of urgency,” SMB coach Leo Austria said. “There's no big adjustment needed.”

After all, the Beermen actually shot better than the E-Painters at 40 percent, although the Grand Slam-seeking side had two less rebounds with 57 than their opponents.

“Nung lumamang kami ng first quarter, I think that’s the culprit: nagkakaroon ng tendency to relax na they thought na kayang-kaya (ang ROS), because they can’t stop June Mar (Fajardo) and Tyler (Wilkerson),” Austria continued.

While Fajardo has regained top form and Wilkerson high scoring as usual, the Beermen missed the outside shooting of Marcio Lassiter, who missed all but one of his nine shots to contribute just three points in 32 minutes in the series opener.

Arwind Santos was also a pale shadow of his true self with just three points on five attempts, although he had seven boards and four assists in 25 minutes.

“Arwind is not on his usual game offensively dahil sa matagal nyang layoff for what happened with his family,” Austria said. “We have to play as a unit and trust is needed.”

Follow the writer on Twitter: @KarloSacamos