SOL Mercado insisted that Ginebra has to play even better to sustain the momentum against San Miguel Beer in their PBA Governors’ Cup semifinal series.
The Gin Kings playmaker provided a huge spark as his team took Game One with an impressive come-from-behind 115-108 victory on Monday night.
“It’s important to get that first one to try and dictate the series, but we’re definitely not content with this,” Mercado said. “We know that we got to play better (because) they’re going to come and play better.”
The veteran combo guard scattered 19 points after going scoreless in the first quarter as he admitted a conscious effort in the second half to take over and spark the turnaround.
“I just wanted to be aggressive and stay aggressive,” Mercado said. “They were giving me open shots and I was just taking what they gave me.”
Mercado knocked down three three-pointers, the last coming with a little over two minutes left from the right wing that doused SMB’s last stand and gave the Gin Kings a 108-102 lead.
It was the Gin Kings’ turn to get hot after the Beermen shot the lights out in the first two quarters where they converted half of their 18 three-point attempts.
“They were hitting everything and we weren’t getting back on defense; that’s our biggest thing (in the first half),” Mercado said. “We wanted to emphasize because they’re really good in transition especially (Elijah) Millsap, so we’re trying to get them against our settle defense.”
“In the half court, we feel like we can stop them besides that monster June Mar (Fajardo),” he added. “But we got them in a half-court set a little bit better and we got in a settle defense in the second half.”