After a grueling schedule, the San Miguel Beermen are set to face another bottom-dweller, the Kia Sorento. Being an expansion team, they haven’t had much success getting wins, with their solitary victory coming against fellow newcomers Blackwater Elite. And it shows statistically as they are dead last in almost every category: offensive rating, shooting efficiency, rebounding, etc. Despite the lack of talent, we can’t take away how much fight they’ve been showing. In almost all their losses, they’ve actually kept it close only to lose steam in the end. It shows their effort and the ability of their lead assistant coach, Glen Capacio.
San Miguel will have to be careful. Being that they’ve come from close game after close game, they may feel relieved to finally face a team that is clearly outmatched talent and experience-wise. This has all the makings of a perfect trap game. They must not be complacent and play down to Kia’s level. In a few of their games, Kia would have good starts, meaning that it is imperative that the Beermen bury them early. That entails feeding June Mar Fajardo down low. Even if Rich Alvarez is having a resurgence of sorts while Hans Thiele and Reil Cervantes have been giving them good production, no one can contend with Fajardo’s size in the low block.
Surprisingly, Kia does lead the league in limiting and forcing TOs. That owes to their coaching and effort and the Beermen will have to be wary of active hands at all times. They don’t really depend on just one man scoring but LA Revilla will be one to watch out for as he can certainly explode at any moment.
This should be an easy win, but knowing San Miguel, they tend to play down to the level of their competition. I know Coach Leo Austria will caution the team, but it wouldn’t surprise me to see them underestimate them, leading to a wire-to-wire affair. As long as they keep attacking the paint and show solid defense, they should come out with a victory regardless, inching that much closer to a top 2 seed.
TV: LIVE ON TV5 AND AKSYONTV
RADIO: RADYO5 92.3 NEWS FM AND DZSR 918 KHZ AM
TIME: 7:00 PM
ARENA: SMART-ARANETA COLISEUM
Featured Image Credit: Mandy Mangubat, The Shaded Lane