IT took a while before the San Miguel players were able to take their seats on the bench following the Beermen’s slow start against NorthPort in their PBA Philippine Cup encounter Sunday night.
The reigning champions were forced to stand for at least more than three minutes after their starting unit missed their first five attempts of the game at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
To the uninitiated, San Miguel players have long made a pact among themselves that no one will take a seat on the bench until the team has scored its first basket of the game.
“Matagal na naming ginagawa yun,” said Arwind Santos, one of the Beermen’s three team captains along with Chris Ross and Alex Cabagnot.
“Nag-usap na kami na walang mauupo muna sa bench hangga’t hindi pa nakaka-shoot ang team. Kumbaga sa naghatid ka ng kasamahan mo, hindi kayo aalis hangga’t hindi pa sila nakakasakay.”
This one however, took a longer while.
Without a field goal, the Beermen found themselves trailing the Batang Pier early, 0-8, and didn’t score their first basket until June Mar Fajardo split his free throw at the 8:30 mark of the game.
“Nangyayari talaga yun,” said Santos when asked of the slow start.
San Miguel did settle down before unleashing its fury in the second half which saw them led by as many as 15 on the way to scoring a 113-107 victory to formally clinch a quarterfinals berth in the season-opening conference.