The San Miguel Beermen shocked most everyone, even their own coach, with a masterful performance in the opening game of the Governor’s Cup finals. They had the upper hand in almost all facets of the game. After Alex Compton admitted that he was out-coached and that his wards were a little rusty from the lay-off, the Beermen should expect a strong answer from their foes.
They can expect much aggressiveness from the defensive end as Alaska’s much vaunted full court pressure was non-existent. Calvin Abueva will be expected to turn up the physicality a bit more to provide a much-needed spark for his team. Luckily, Arwind Santos has been on point in the playoffs and should be more than a match for him both physically and mentally. Gabby Espinas and even David Semerad can provide the much-needed backup. Speaking of bouncing back, Romeo Travis will want to redeem himself from a really bad night, particularly in shooting the ball (6/18 from the field). Almost all of his points came off postups, something he’ll look to continue doing in addition to his deadly midrange jumper. Arizona Reid and Santos will have to wary and make sure to close out on him and keep him occupied. Overall, San Miguel’s can’t afford to let up defensively or take a possession off. They have to press their advantage momentum-wise.
Offensively, they’ll have to avoid the lulls in their sets which was apparent in the middle quarters of Game One. They have to continue to share the rock and make smart decisions. Their first five will always be their biggest advantage, especially June Mar Fajardo inside the paint. Pacing will also be important. They’ll have to keep this a halfcourt game and avoid running with the Aces. Alex Cabagnot will shoulder the load to make sure his teammates don’t miss a beat. Again, limiting turnovers and controlling the boards will be key.
San Miguel had a magnificent game one, but they shouldn’t be complacent. They need to keep their foot on the pedal against this resilient Alaska squad. This should be a much tougher game but Leo Austria is sure to have prepared his boys well. As long as they stick to the gameplan and adjust accordingly, they stand a great chance taking a 2-0 lead. #FearTheBeer
TV: LIVE ON TV5, AKSYONTV AND FOX SPORTS 1
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TIME: 5:00 PM
ARENA: SMART-ARANETA COLISEUM
Featured Image Credit: Paul Ryan Tan and Pranz Kaeno Billones, Sports5