San Miguel's rotation problem gets a quick fix after Game 1 rout
Paul Lintag on Feb 25, 2017 07:06 AM
All five of San Miguel's starters played under 30 minutes in Game 1 of the PBA Finals, a huge win for the Beermen especially after a grueling semifinal series against TNT.
San Miguel's top-heavy rotation was one of the main storylines from its semifinals series against TNT KaTropa in the Philippine Cup.
While the Beermen managed to win that showdown in seven games to save its bid for an All-Filipino three-peat, San Miguel's big guns were seeing heavy minutes, regularly playing around 40 minutes each time out.
The minutes distribution was a legitimate cause of concern for the champs heading into its titular showdown against Brgy. Ginebra.
However, after a convincing Game 1 victory, it appears the San Miguel problem has been solved for now.
Arwind Santos was the only SMB starter to see some major court time in the series opener, playing exactly 30 minutes in a 27-point win.
Reigning Finals MVP Chris Ross found it crucial that the Beermen finally had a more balanced rotation in the playoffs.
"That's huge for us because on [Monday] we all played over 40 minutes except for June Mar," Ross said referring to their Game 7 win against the KaTropa in the semifinals.
"It's huge for us the starters to get some rest and for our bench to get some confidence," he added.
True enough, San Miguel's reserves came in and provided 42 points, easily one the unit's best games in a while.
Playing against an equally-loaded Ginebra lineup, Ross understands the importance of a well-balanced attack, something that they hope to can do for the rest of this series by coming out strong each game.
"We know we're not going to win the championship with just five. We need everybody on the roster on their game. And when their number is called, they need to contribute," he said.
Taking the Ginebra crowd out of the equation is also a big deal for the Beermen's title hopes.
"We wanted to just bounce on them real quick and try to get the crowd out of the game. Luckily we got some shots to fall early and we just took it from there," Ross said.
"That's the main goal, we just want to start every game fast and try to get the crowd out then sustain," he added.
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