by Jonas Terrado
Arwind Santos was quick to debunk the notion that San Miguel Beer only got its two victories in the PBA Philippine Cup Finals against Magnolia through offense.
Santos stressed that defense also played a factor in the Beermen’s series-tying 114-98 win in Wednesday’s Game 4 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum that turned the championship showdown into a best-of-three.
“Di ah, maganda din depensa namin,” said Santos, noting how SMB was able to control the rebounding department after a major discrepancy in Sunday’s Game 3 defeat.
San Miguel had a 53-46 advantage over Magnolia in the glass after allowing the latter to win the battle, 71-46.
“Yung depensa na sinasabi ko is na-outrebound namin sila, malaking bagay yun kasi last time na natalo kami sa kanila meron silang 28 offensive rebounds,” said Santos.
“Kaya nag-focus kami dun sa mga maliliit na bagay para ma-control namin yung rebounds nila. Nagawa naman namin kaya tingin ko isa rin yun sa nagdala,” he added.
SMB also forced Magnolia to six of its 15 turnovers in the second quarter that helped them gain a 54-47 halftime lead and momentum going into the third.
Offense overshadowed their edge on the glass after making almost 52 percent of its shots, a far cry from a 32.9 percent clip in Sunday’s Game 3 setback.
June Mar Fajardo’s dominance on both ends and renewed vigor from Terrence Romeo, Chris Ross and Christian Standhardinger also paved the way for the Beermen to redeem themselves.
“Kapag nakuha namin ng maaga kumpiyansa namin, mas madali naming nakukuha rhythm ng game, mas madali kami nakakalaro ng maayos at nababasa namin kaagad galaw ng bawat isa,” said Terrence Romeo.