San Miguel ditches Wilkerson, goes All-Filipino in Game 3
San Miguel faces a familiar territory, living to fight another day with an All-Filipino line-up.
The Beermen, down 0-2 against Rain or Shine, will play sans import Tyler Wilkerson on Thursday as they aim to stretch the best-of-five semifinals series.
Team manager Gee Abanilla confirmed that San Miguel already parted ways with Wilkerson ahead of the crucial semifinals match.
“The coaches, with the support of the management, decided to play all-Filipino today and eventually end our working relationship with Tyler Wilkerson,” he said in a statement just before tipoff at Philsports Arena.
“We appreciate him bringing us this far in this conference, but in the end, it’s not really all about winning or losing games per se.”
Things came to a head when Wilkerson had a postgame outburst on the heels of the Beermen’s 98-96 Game 2 defeat to Rain or Shine.
The Best Import pacesetter stormed out of the San Miguel locker room in frustration and even shouted “Take me back to America!” as he made his way out of the Big Dome.
Abanilla explained that Wilkerson’s actions were detrimental to the team, forcing the management to make the tough decision in a decisive stretch.
Here is the rest of San Miguel’s statement:
“We want to instill in ourselves values like constant hard work, discipline on and off the court, and respect for others, be it coaches, players, and more importantly to the people who sign our paychecks,” he said. “The entire conference was a roller coaster ride for us internally and we feel that we are slowly losing our character, and more importantly, respect for authority among others.”
“In numerous occasions, temper gets the better out of certain people and we feel that if done over and over and over again, it is not going to be healthy for our team anymore. We would always sacrifice great talent for harmony and progress of our team.”
“We know it was a difficult situation to make for everybody, but in the end, everybody should try to do what he thinks is right, work hard for his goals, and submit himself to the core values of the company.”