by Jonas Terrado
Game Today (Smart Araneta Coliseum)
7 p.m. — San Miguel vs Rain or Shine
(San Miguel leads series 2-0)
San Miguel Beer (SMB) hopes to nail the killer blow against Rain or Shine (ROS) and book another finals appearance in Game 3 of their best-of-5 PBA Commissioner’s Cup semifinal series today at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
After putting the Elasto Painters on the ropes following Monday’s incredible 29-point comeback, the Beermen would like nothing more than complete a sweep in the 7 p.m. match.
Chris Ross’ career-night of 34 points on 10 three-pointers with eight assists enabled SMB to battle back from that huge gap and secure a 117-105 victory at the Mall of Asia Arena.
While pleased to fashion out another comeback win – the Beermen also erased a 13-point deficit to produce a 111-105 victory in Game 1, Ross said they must avoid falling into bad starts this time.
“We can’t have the habit of being down 30 points and expect to win especially in the playoffs,” said Ross. “Hopefully we could fix that and not make it so hard for ourselves.”
Another win puts San Miguel to its ninth finals appearance in 14 conferences since coach Leo Austria took charge, and a date with either TNT KaTropa or Barangay GInebra San Miguel.
TNT was seeking to claim the first finals berth in the midseason tournament during Game 3 of the other semis series with Ginebra at MOA.
Rain or Shine veteran Beau Belga remains defiant that his team still has a chance as long as it keeps away from wasting good opportunities.
“We have to stick to whatever game plan we have,” said Belga. “Nakakalamang kami ng 29 points pero pag nalilihis kami ng landas, dun nakakaloko-loko (We’re capable of building a 29-point lead but when we veer away from the things we’re making, that’s when everything falls apart). Yun ang sinasabi ni coach Caloy (Garcia).”
“The coaching staff is doing their job and it’s up to the players naman ngayon kung pano i-apply yung sinasabi ng coaching staff (The coaching staff is doing their job and it’s up to the players on how they apply the game plan),” he added.