Beermen deal FiberXers’ psyche huge beating in taking 1-0 lead
San Miguel Beer was quick to caution itself from considering the best-of-three series with Converge as a done deal even after a convincing romp to kick off quarterfinal action in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup.
“We can’t take Converge lightly. Definitely not,” San Miguel assistant coach Jorge Gallent, still in an acting role in the absence of Leo Austria, said after the Beermen’s 114-96 win on Wednesday that had San Miguel putting a foot inside the midseason conference’s semifinal stage.
Barangay Ginebra brushed off NorthPort behind a late third quarter surge to secure a 118-102 win for a similar 1-0 lead in their side of the quarterfinals.
Justin Brownlee dropped 10 of his 39 points in the last three minutes of the third as the Gin Kings were able to pull away.
The wire-to-wire win came after a performance that was a complete turnaround from the Beermen’s defeat to the fast-paced FiberXers in the eliminations, with their defense working well and June Mar Fajardo providing the big difference with his usual play on both ends.
But the lopsided result which saw San Miguel lead by as many as 31 points, was not enough to satisfy Gallent as the Beermen now focus on trying to finish things off on Saturday at the same venue.
“We just can’t relax against a team like this because this is already the playoffs,” said Gallent, who has guided San Miguel to five straight victories since Austria was put under health and safety protocols. “They wouldn’t be here if they weren’t a good team. So as I always tell them, we have to play 48 minutes of aggressive basketball and then we will be alright. But if we lapsed for two to three minutes, we will give them opportunities to take advantage of our lapses. We can’t do that.”
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