Beermen try to close out E-Painters Wednesday
They say the close-out games are the toughest to win.
With the first three games of this Final Four series all decided in the waning moments, San Miguel Beer tries to hang tough in the clutch anew and bundle out a never-quit Rain or Shine squad in the PBA Governors’ Cup at Smart Araneta Coliseum Wednesday.
Tip-off is at 7 p.m. with the Beermen riding the momentum of a 114-108 Game 3 win to try to complete the job against a side that fights at its hardest when facing tremendous odds.
The Beermen are trying to arrange a best-of-seven championship series with first finalists Alaska Aces for the second time this season.
The Beermen got some early breaks early on Monday night as foul trouble defanged the undersized Rain or Shine frontline, ultimately ruining the enemy’s defensive game plan.
San Miguel’s outside shooting didn’t cool down from Game 2 where its gunners fired 21 triples, tying a franchise mark. The only difference was that the Beermen won this one.
“It’s still about the three-point shooting,” Rain or Shine coach Yeng Guiao said, coming out of the locker room more than an hour after Game 3. “I think they shot more than 60 percent from the three-point line.
“I thought that after one night of torrid shooting (in Game 2), their percentages would drop. But they got higher. We just can’t hope and pray that their outside shooting (percentage) goes down. We have to do something about it.”
Minimize the damage
Guiao said they expect Beau Belga to suit up and provide another wide body to minimize the damage that June Mar Fajardo is doing.
The beefy Belga, Guiao’s main muscle inside, was out of the last two games because of a severe right ankle sprain.
“Having Beau at least 75 to 80 percent is better than not having him there at all,” Guiao said.
Fajardo’s presence in the paint provides all sorts of problems for Rain or Shine, which needs either Belga or Wendell McKines to guard him and keep the hulking Beerman’s scoring at a minimum.
If the Painters double, the kick-out passes to the Beermen’s three-point bombers, particularly Marcio Lassiter, Alex Cabagnot and Ronald Tubid, are lethal.
Guiao also needs to stop Arizona Reid if the Painters want to take the semifinal series to a deciding game this Friday.
McKines, meanwhile, and Paul Lee will continue to be Guiao’s biggest guns.
Jeff Chan and Gabe Norwood will also have to step up big offensively in order to counter the contributions Lassiter, Cabagnot and Tubid are dishing out for San Miguel.
The Aces barged into the title series Sunday night after applying the broom on Star and former coach Tim Cone in three games.