PBA Finals: Beermen know closing out Magnolia won't come easily

PBA Finals: San Miguel knows closing out Magnolia won’t ‘come easily’

/ 04:15 PM February 08, 2024

PBA Finals San Miguel Beermen Magnolia

San Miguel Beermen’s June Mar Fajardo, Chris Ross and Marcio Lassiter in the PBA Finals. –MARLO CUETO/INQUIRER.net

MANILA, Philippines—San Miguel gave credit where credit is due.

Beermen Marcio Lassiter and CJ Perez acknowledged that the series with Magnolia was never going to be easy despite holding a 2-0 advantage before their Game 3 loss at Araneta Coliseum on Wednesday.


“We know it’s a long series. Everyone would have loved a sweep but this is a great team so we have to come out and be prepared for Game 4,” said Lassiter after their 88-80 loss to the Hotshots.


READ: PBA Finals: Barroca delivers on both ends for Magnolia in crucial win

“We knew that playing Magnolia in the Finals was going to be a tough series. We knew it’s not going to come easily. They’re playing with their backs against the walls, which they rightfully so and they played with a lot more energy today. I just feel like we didn’t match their energy.”

After breaking the 100-point barrier in Games 1 and 2, the Beermen found themselves in a slow-paced third game which worked to the advantage of coach Chito Victolero.

Defense has always been key for Magnolia. In fact, in their semifinal series against Phoenix, Victolero made it clear that he wants the score to be below 90 for bigger chances of winning.

It seems like that’s still the case even against the Beermen who boasts a “Death 15” lineup.

San Miguel Beermen Marcio Lassiter PBA

San Miguel Beermen’s Marcio Lassiter in Game 3 of the PBA Finals. –MARLO CUETO/INQUIRER.net

“It was a defensive match today. It was a low-scoring game, we just have to figure out how to make some shots and take better shots.”

“We just have to execute on offense, defense was good for us, we didn’t give them a hundred points so we have to fix some minor things and brush off a couple things and we’ll come out better in Game 4.”


Lassiter struggled mightily on the floor, finishing with just four points in 35 minutes of action as a starter.

READ: PBA Finals: Beermen focused on more important goal

Perez, though, had a much better game to the tune of 16 points, five rebounds and three steals.

Yet, he holds the same sentiments as his fellow guard. The Hotshots were just ten-folds more energetic on the hardwood.

“We just need to play 110 percent… I think we really lacked that. We didn’t have effort, defense and we couldn’t execute our offense well,” said the shifty guard.

Unfortunately, Perez found himself in a bad landing after a dunk on the fast break in the fourth quarter where his ankle extended awkwardly.

Thankfully, San Miguel can breathe properly as Perez didn’t seem bothered by the pain as he was exiting The Big Dome after the loss.

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“Right now, my ankle is okay but I’ll check it more later. It didn’t swell up. I don’t think [I’ll miss a game].”

The Beermen look to take a commanding 3-1 lead on Friday at the same venue.

TAGS: CJ Perez, Marcio Lassiter, PBA Commissioner's Cup, San Miguel Beermen

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