ON the night San Miguel relied on defense to win, Ronald Tubid took it upon himself to take care of the team’s offense as well.
The Beermen’s top defensive guard was feeling it on Sunday night when he took charge offensively in the reigning champion’s thrilling 72-70 win over Barangay Ginebra Kings in their PBA Philippine Cup showdown at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Tubid was San Miguel’s next best scorer behind Alex Cabagnot with 12 points, half of which came in the payoff period including a crucial three-pointer that broke the game’s final deadlock and gave the Beermen the lead for good, 61-58.
That the 35-year-old shooting guard came alive on offense couldn’t have come at a better time for the two-time defending champions.
The San Miguel starters obviously struggled from the floor, shooting a combined 17 of 61. Marcio Lassiter was 2-of-15 from the field, while Chris Ross went 2-of-9.
As part of the team’s second unit, Tubid pointed out the need for them to step up when the starters are not shooting that well.
“Same mindset naman ako, kaming second group ang alalay sa first group. Kami yung stabilizer,” said the 14-year veteran from Iloilo, who made four of his eight shots against Ginebra.
“Yung team kasi namin bunch of scorers. Pag off yung first group, yung second group kailangan pumutok. Pag hindi kami pumutok, nahihirapan kami.”
Tubid was playing well on both ends of the floor that coach Leo Austria let him play on the floor until the end.
“Yung team namin kung sino ang mainit kasi, kung sino ang maganda ang opensa at depensa,” he said of his extended minutes in the endgame. He ended up playing for 25 minutes.
“Tsaka si Alex (Cabagnot), hindi pa nga 100 percent,” Tubid said of San Miguel’s top point man, who recently suffered a broken nose during a game against Meralco.
Tubid also got the better of his match up with Ginebra sophomore Scottie Thompson, who ended up with only six points (2 of 9 shooting) and seven rebounds - a far cry from the 17 boards he grabbed the last time against Star.
He repeatedly scored against Thompson in the fourth, including the go-ahead three-pointer from the right corner midway through the period.
But the former University of the East stalwart said he was just actually making up for the poor three-point shooting he had against Blackwater the last time.
“Suwerte lang siguro kasi last game 0 out of 5 ako (from three-point range),” said a smiling Tubid, who ended up going 3 for 5 from the same distance against Ginebra.