Hurting after shock loss to Dyip, Beermen redeem selves by beating Gin Kings
MANILA, Philippines—San Miguel’s loss to Columbian Dyip wasn’t just treated as an ordinary defeat back in the Beermen’s camp.
The defending Philippine Cup champions saw it as a challenge, and nearly almost an insult, and they promptly vowed to change their ways before they faced Barangay Ginebra.
San Miguel has built a dynasty having won six of the possible 12 titles including four straight Philippine Cups and the team was expected to run away with an easy victory against the Dyip, who only has one playoff series in their existence, but the opposite happened as humble Columbian stunned the Beermen 124-118.
The mighty Beermen, who regained their form, promptly recovered and dumped the Gin Kings on Sunday at Smart Araneta Coliseum as if reminding the rest of the league of their powerhouse status.
“We we’re truly hurt because that was our first game and we lost,” said 2013 MVP Arwind Santos in Filipino. “Everyone expected that we would win the game [against Columbian] but we failed. And since we failed that we saw how we were beaten and we saw our errors on defense.”
Santos, who tied his career-high of 34 points in the loss to the Dyip, was quieter in the win against Ginebra putting up just six points but had one steal and two blocks on the other end of the floor.
Marcio Lassiter, who came up big in the clutch for the Beermen against Ginebra, said it was their fault why they lost since he knew they didn’t play at their best when they lost to the Dyip.
“It definitely hurts you know, we just expect to play better,” said Lassiter who had 16 points, five rebounds, six assists, and two steals against Ginebra. “We knew what was wrong. We figured it out and we just have to get going at it, keep on working to be better.”
“Pretty much that loss was not us, that’s very uncharacteristic of us and tonight was a better showing of how we’re capable of playing.”
San Miguel held a big lead at the start of the fourth quarter against Ginebra, 78-57, but nearly lost it in the end after the Gin Kings went on a frenzied 32-16 run to trim the margin to five, 94-89, after LA Tenorio’s triple with 1:29 left in the game.
That was when Lassiter went to work his magic when he caught Von Pessumal’s errant pass and calmly drained a big three-pointer for the Beermen’s 97-89 lead 1:15 remaining.
Lassiter’s dagger, however, wouldn’t have happened if not for the quick thinking of Pessumal and the backup shooting guard’s late stay on the floor was even unlikelier.
Pessumal played around 10.6 minutes a game in the past season usually serving as backup to Lassiter, Chris Ross, and Alex Cabagnot but with San Miguel missing key players including new acquisition Terrence Romeo the substitute winger had to step in.
“I just stay ready to play every game,” said Pessumal, who 13 points, three rebounds, and two assists in 26 minutes of play. “I’m thankful to coach Leo [Austria] because he trusted me to be in the starting 5 so it means a lot to me. I have to repay him also.”
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