There’s always going to be some form of doubt every time sister teams go at it. Accusations of “Sagip Kapamilya” has become commonplace when MVP or SMC teams collide with one another.
Even though that is the case, you can’t deny that the quality of basketball between sister teams is usually at a very high level. The same can be said every time San Miguel and Ginebra go at it.
The Beermen outclassed the Gin Kings in a battle between sister teams. When you think about it, this wasn’t just any battle between two sister teams. This was a battle of attrition between two title contending teams. This was a rivalry which had the ingredients to produce something special.
The game yesterday was truly a special one. It was a defensive slugfest between the two heavyweights, as the two teams played at a meager 88.5 pace. The slow pace for the game resulted in basketball that was painful to watch for the casual fan, but was a joy for the basketball purist. Players making correct decisions on the defensive end leading to stops for their teams. It was as close as it got for the two teams, and at the end of it all, it was an Arwind Santos stop which gave the Beermen the win.
If there’s anything this game has showed us, it’s this: When locked in defensively, it’s close to impossible to beat the San Miguel Beermen. With a team that is full of versatile defenders who have a ton of length to defend your shot, scoring against the Beermen can be a pain. Their offense is a truly a terrifying sight, but their defense is a much worse prospect to handle. There will be nights where Junemar Fajardo will be cold and saddled with foul trouble. But when those nights come, SMB can always lean on their defense to save the day.
On the other hand, despite their struggles this conference, the Gin Kings present themselves as a worthy contender for a title. Their defense is certainly stingy, and despite not having Greg Slaughter, they present a ton of problems to opposing bigs. If they can limit Junemar to “just” 9 points and 11 rebounds, then they must be doing something right.
Are both teams on a collision course to the Finals? Nothing is set in stone, but a clash between these two will certainly make for an entertaining affair. Top notch defense, and an energized offense for both squads. You can’t go wrong with that.