San Miguel Beer shows off killer instinct in rout of Converge
Taking a huge lead against an undermanned squad at halftime, San Miguel Beer received an urgent message from its coaching staff.
Step on the gas pedal. Don’t play to the level of your opponents.
“The coaches told us to show our killer instinct so we could carry over [the momentum] over to the next game,” said CJ Perez late Sunday night after assembling a triple-double that propelled the Beermen to a 111-92 victory over Converge in the PBA Philippine Cup at Ynares Sports Center in Antipolo City.
The Beermen flexed their might just days after absorbing a 75-72 defeat from Barangay Ginebra that temporarily knocked them off the tournament lead. They caught up with the Gin Kings with their fourth win in five games, where six players scored in double figures—a display of depth highlighted by the fact that San Miguel was without potent scorers Terrence Romeo, Vic Manuel and Chris Ross.
“We were really motivated to bounce back after losing [to Ginebra],” coach Leo Austria said.
Perez’s first career triple-double was a standout performance on a night that had many of them for the Beermen. The former Lyceum star pitched in 15 points, 13 rebounds and 12 assists.
“We know about his scoring and rebounding but we saw his maturity with his assists,” Austria said.
But Perez passed off credit to his teammates: “They were all willing to step up.”
Jericho Cruz produced his best game in a San Miguel uniform since joining the team via unrestricted free agency, knocking down a team-high 22 points. There were also huge double-doubles from June Mar Fajardo (18 points, 16 rebounds) and Mo Tautuaa (19 points, 10 rebounds). Sharpshooter Marcio Lassiter had three triples in a 12-point effort and even the relatively unknown Michael Canete joined the scoring parade with 10 points.
“He showed us his potential,” Austria said of Canete. INQ
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