Laser-focused SMB starters didnít want to rest against TNT

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Feb 18, 2017 08:52 PM
Laser-focused SMB starters didnít want to rest against TNT
OLD RELIABLES. San Miguel's starters overwhelmed their counterparts in TNT.

All but one of Leo Austria’s starters wound up in double-digits in San Miguel’s must-win matchup against TNT on Saturday.

June Mar Fajardo led the way, of course with a 23-point, 21-rebound double-double. Arwind Santos added 21 markers of his own and Alex Cabagnot and Chris Ross ended with 19 and 14 points, respectively.

Marcio Lassiter only scored seven points, but contributed everywhere else with seven assists and seven rebounds.

And the Beermen first five could have done even more – if they had their way.

As it turns out, all of Austria’s starters did not want to get subbed out as they were trying to battle back from a 2-3 series deficit. “Naka-focus silang lahat. Actually, halos lahat silang starters, ayaw magpalabas,” he shared post-game

He then continued, “Gusto nila manalo talaga.”

Fortunately for the San Miguel faithful, their mentor knew better. “Pero I told them, hindi pwede yun. Kailangan nilang magpahinga dahil in the endgame, kailangan at least meron tayong 1/4 fuel sa tangke.”

That much proved to be true especially for Fajardo who finally imposed his will in the final frame. “Si June Mar, it was a different ballgame dahil makikita niyo, yung mga shot (ng TNT) in the middle, china-challenge niya,” Austria said.

Still, the starters just may have their way on Monday when the Beermen and KaTropa go all-out in the do-or-die Game 7.

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Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo.

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