After a blowout and a wire-to-wire victory, it will be interesting to see how the San Miguel Beermen approach this one as they face a Talk ‘N Text Tropang Texters squad still reeling from their loss on Sunday. The first two contests were much more physical than I anticipated and I fully expect that to continue into Game 3 of this best-of-seven semifinal.
It has been an interesting chess match between Coach Leo Austria and Coach Jong Uichico. For the former, I am curious as to how he plans to counter Talk ‘N Text’s (almost) perfect defensive scheme against June Mar Fajardo. For the latter, how will he recover from letting the game slip away despite neutralizing Fajardo for three quarters and a half? Once again, the defense will have to be on point at all times. They can’t give up free runs to the basket or open three-pointers. Talk ‘N Text is still shooting less than 30% from deep in the playoffs. San Miguel can’t let them have a good night (or a good half) as a barrage could spell the difference. They also have to stamp their class on the boards. Even if they themselves can’t score on the offensive glass, they should be able to stop the other team from doing the same. This game has the makings of an extremely physical and chippy affair as multiple players have already had a few altercations in the first two games.
I don’t think Coach Austria and his boys need any more motivation to win. In case they do however, they can draw from Uichico and Manny V. Pangilinan’s statements claiming officiating cost them a game 2 victory. Nothing is worse than an opponent claiming they were jobbed and refusing to accept defeat when it was a hard-earned victory. The Beermen can adequately respond by letting their games do the talking. They have to be cautious however as Coach Austria put it perfectly, a wounded beast is the most dangerous. They can expect an even stronger attack by the Texters. As long as they hold down the fort defensively, they should have a good chance to grab that commanding 3-0 series lead.
TV: LIVE ON TV5 AND AKSYONTV
RADIO: RADYO 92.3 NEWS FM AND DZSR 918 KHZ AM
TIME: 7:00 PM
ARENA: MALL OF ASIA ARENA
Featured Image Credit: Nuki Sabio, PBA Image/Rappler.com