Dec 09, 2022

Healthy and jelling, Beermen go for clincher vs FiberXers

AFTER their big win in their playoff opener, there's no rest for the San Miguel Beermen as they're bent for a follow-up and the earliest possible progress to the next round.

They watched and analyzed video of Game One the morning after, particularly the fourth quarter where the FiberXers made a run although quelled as the Beermen completed a dominant 114-96 triumph.

With a good knowledge of what went right and their little lapses, the Beermen go for the clincher at 6:45 p.m. Saturday at the PhilSports Arena as they seek a place in the PBA Commissioner's Cup semifinals versus the winner of the Bay Area-Rain or Shine matchup.

It could well be a giant clash between the Beermen and the Dragons.

But the first order for the Beermen is to finish off the FiberXers.

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"The good thing is we're jelling and we're healthier now, something that's not on our side early in the tourney," said San Miguel assistant coach Jorge Gallent.

The temporary sub coach to Leo Austria commended the Beermen for a good defense Wednesday, throwing the FiberXers out of their comfort zone.

Particularly checked was Converge's three-point shooting.

"Ang ganda ng scouting at preparation ng coaching staff namin," said SMB ace behemoth June Mar Fajardo.

And the SMB coaching staff and players have no intention of slowing it down.

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"We have to work harder in Game 2. If we played hard (Wednesday), we have to play harder next game," said Gallent.

The battle-scarred Beermen held the FiberXers' vaunted three-point-shooting and running game in check to clear the way to the 1-0 running start. Against the Beermen's defense, Converge made only six of their 41 attempts from deep - off its average of 13.4 in the elims - while getting only seven points in transition - half of its regular 14.3-point fastbreak production.

"We practiced hard for two days and we really prepared for their three-point shooting and running game. So I commend the players, they did all of what we wanted them to do, that's why we got the win today," said Gallent. (SB)