SEAN Anthony lamented GlobalPort’s failure to close out games that surfaced again in the Batang Pier's 107-93 loss to San Miguel Beer in their PBA Philippine Cup matchup on Wednesday night.
After winning the last two games that masked their meltdowns in their first two outings, the Batang Pier saw their old habit haunt them again as they surrendered in the last five minutes against the Beermen after engaging the defending champions to a nip-and-tuck battle throughout.
The Batang Pier were still ahead, 85-83 with a little over five minutes to go, before allowing the Beermen to score 18 unanswered points that took the fight out of GlobalPort.
“We played a good 40 minutes but that’s not enough,” Anthony said. “That’s why they’re three-time champions, that’s why they got the MVP, they pull it out when it matters most. That is something we have to build on and mature and mature and grow and execute.”
“All our losses, we’ve lost in the last few minutes,” he added as the Batang Pier absorbed a third loss in five games, the first two defeats against NLEX and Ginebra in games where they gave up early leads. “Closing out games, that’s going to be big for us.”
Despite GlobalPort’s meltdown, Anthony still conceded to SMB stamping its class that spelled a difference down the stretch.
“San Miguel’s dominance – June Mar had 34, Brian (Heruela) attacked and created and did stuff,” Anthony said.
“But that doesn’t mean we can’t get better in the future to find ways to stop that,” he added. “That’s just their experience and we’re going to have to grow fast and learn how to close out games as well.”
Anthony was one of the few bright spots for a Batang Pier side that’s still missing superstar Terrence Romeo, finishing with 15 points, highlighted by three treys, seven boards, two assists, three steals, and one block, against four turnovers in 37 minutes.
But the Filipino-Canadian cager rued his team’s lack of teamwork that saw them dish out just 12 assists, compared to SMB’s 22.
“What got us the last two wins was ball movement and defense and that didn’t happen tonight," Anthony said. “We got to go back on our basics and lock up on defense and move the ball to the open guy and play as a team. We’ll look at the tape and we’ll get back to that.”