Jorge Gallent moves San Miguel Beermen closer to PBA glory

Jorge Gallent moves San Miguel Beermen closer to PBA glory

/ 05:15 AM February 04, 2024

San Miguel Beermen coach Jorge Gallent PBA Finals

San Miguel Beermen coach Jorge Gallent during Game 1 of the PBA Commissioner’s Cup Finals against Magnolia Hotshots.–MARLO CUETO/

Jorge Gallent insists that he can’t take sole credit should he and the San Miguel Beermen end up seizing the PBA Commissioner’s Cup crown—a goal that could come to within just two wins by Sunday’s end.

“It’s not a personal goal. For me, the goal is for the team,” he said before the Finals series with the Magnolia Hotshots began. “I’m not thinking of myself, I’m just here to guide the players.”


Getting a 2-0 lead against the Hotshots in the 6:15 p.m. match at SM Mall of Asia Arena will inch Gallent closer to the pinnacle more than a year after being tapped to take charge of the Beermen following a successful run under Leo Austria.


READ: PBA Finals: Magnolia will deal with San Miguel lethal big man duo

San Miguel made a stunning move to elevate Gallent after Austria, management said, wanted to take a coaching sabbatical. Austria has since returned to the Beermen coaching staff as a consultant.

Gallent initially admitted having to deal with the pressure of succeeding Austria, who steered the Beermen to nine championships in a span of 20 conferences.

“Pressure? Yeah,” he said. “Because Coach Leo won nine championships and it’s really hard to beat. And he was winning, so we had to keep that tradition. And that was the pressure.”

Creating a winning tradition is nothing new for Gallent. He won six straight championships in the defunct Philippine Basketball League, handling Harbour Centre’s star-studded amateur squad between 2006 to 2009 while also taking charge of San Sebastian in the NCAA from 2007 to 2008.

READ: PBA: Tim Cone lauds ‘very deep’ San Miguel after Ginebra exit

He had a brief PBA coaching foray in 2011 with the Magnolia franchise when it was known as B-Meg, making the semifinals of the Philippine Cup in his first conference. Gallent, however, had to give up his coaching duties following the hiring of Tim Cone after the latter’s storied run at Alaska.

Gallent eventually landed with Petron as an assistant before the team reverted back to the famous San Miguel brand. Now Gallent is closing in on his first PBA crown.


For the championship dream to be fulfilled, Gallent and the Beermen will have to be more consistent than they were in winning Game 1 two nights ago, 103-95.

San Miguel was well in command, even getting the lead as high as 20, before Magnolia, behind a collection of seldom-used players, made things interesting by cutting it to five in the final minute.

Gallent’s disappointment at how San Miguel closed things out has his players feeling the need for more urgency against a Magnolia side that in Game 2 will have surely shook off the effects of a hard-fought semifinal triumph over Phoenix.

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“We can’t underestimate their bench players. They’re still players and they showed [Magnolia coach Chito Victolero] that they can play,” said CJ Perez. “We need to stay composed and not relax too much during the endgame because it’s a scary feeling to suffer a major collapse.”

TAGS: Jorge Gallent, Magnolia, PBA, San Miguel Beermen

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