San Miguel depth in full display during Terrific 12 showcase
MANILA, Philippines—San Miguel is undoubtedly one of the most talented teams in the PBA with a starting five sharing 20 Mythical Team accolades and two bench players worthy who’ve already suited up for the national team.
This kind of talent allows head coach Leo Austria to use such a limited rotation in the PBA but the other support players aren’t that shabby as well.
San Miguel’s depth was in full bloom during the East Asia Super League: The Terrific 12 in Macau when the Beermen played without five-time MVP June Mar Fajardo, All-Stars Marcio Lassiter and Alex Cabagnot, and for one game Christian Standhardinger.
Filling up their spots were Von Pessumal, Kelly Nabong, and Paul Zamar all of whom used their exposure to prep up their confidence heading into the PBA Governors’ Cup.
“I think it’s just a testament to the depth of the team, we have a lot of guys who can fill their shoes and it all boils down to coach trusting us, that’s the first part, the second part is for us to deliver when called upon,” said Pessumal.
“When you go deeper and deeper into the playoffs you need more guys to play, and this is our preseason going into the Governors’ Cup and it will help us improve for that,” added Pessumal.
The sweet shooting Pessumal had his best game in the tournament in the Beermen’s 111-89 loss to eventual winner Liaoning when he had 11 points going 4-of-9 from the field and 3-of-5 from the three-point area.
Another player who found his stroke from deep was the bruising Nabong who filled in for Standhardinger in the bronze medal game.
Nabong had 14 points, 12 coming from beyond the arch, against Zhejiang but the Beermen fell short 91-89 and finished fourth in the tournament.
“Everything’s a learning experience and everything happens for a reason,” said Nabong. “We move forward and go for our third championship.”
“Coach did a great job of making substitutions and he gave us a lot of playing time and when you get that opportunity you go headfirst. It was a great opportunity for us,” added Nabong
Nabong and Pessumal games, however, came off losses but Zamar’s performance proved fruitful for the Beermen when he came off the bench against the Ryukyu Golden Kings in the group stage.
Zamar played in just five games in the Commissioner’s Cup and averaged 3.2 points, 1.4 rebounds, and 1.6 assists in around 10 minutes per game, but he had nine points, five rebounds, three assists, one steal, and one block in San Miguel’s 101-92 win over Ryukyu.