Marcio Lassiter still sees a lot of room for improvement for 'team to beat' SMB
Marcio Lassiter says SMB's defense still has a lot of holes. Jaime Campos

THEY may still be the team to beat, but they’re beatable.

San Miguel Beer seeks to address its weaknesses as it takes on Phoenix on Wednesday night when the PBA Philippine Cup goes on the road at the Ynares Center in Antipolo.

The defending champion Beermen proved they remain the favorites after a late 14-0 run was enough to dispatch Star, 96-88, on opening night last week, but it was a game where they also found out what they have to work on.

“Sometimes, it’s our (defense on) pick-and-rolls, sometimes offensive rebounding, and I think it was just not getting stops,” star wingman Marcio Lassiter said.

Playmakers Mark Barroca, Paul Lee, and Jio Jalalon pounced on SMB’s seemingly porous pick-and-roll defense, resulting in the trio emerging as the Hotshots’ leading scorers.

The Hotshots also outrebounded the taller Beermen, 52-46, allowing them to get extra possessions and threaten to pull off an upset.

Lassiter also saw other negatives the Beermen have to improve on.

“We just have to make sure to contest every shot and do the little things so in the future, we don’t fall susceptible to those things,” the SMB sniper said.

THE SMB defense gets another test in the Fuel Masters, led by an explosive sophomore point guard in Simon Enciso, who reset his career-high to 25 points in  their 94-87 defeat at the hands of Blackwater last Wednesday.

Gelo Alolino was also aggressive in a solid debut with 11 points on 4-of-5 shooting in 15 minutes off the bench and the rookie playmaker tries to likewise put up an encore performance against the Beermen.

Fil-Canadian rookie Matthew Wright is also expected to make his PBA debut against the Beermen after sitting out the match against Blackwater due to a bout with food poisoning.

Follow the writer on Twitter: @KarloSacamos