PBA Finals: Second quarter meltdown buries SMB, 1-2, in Finals series

Mark Escarlote on Aug 09, 2019 10:58 PM
Second quarter meltdown buries SMB, 1-2, in Finals series
We allowed them (TNT KaTropa) to play their game -- SMB Coach Leo Austria

San Miguel Beer for the first time in the 2019 PBA Commissioner’s Cup Finals series took control of the game early.

The Beermen even held a 17-point lead to start the second quarter.

Then everything went south from there.

SMB squandered a big lead and allowed TNT KaTropa to mount a pivotal counterattack to turn the tables around as they hand the Beermen a 105-115 beating in Game 3 of the best-of-seven series on Friday at the Big Dome.

The KaTropa took a 2-1 series lead.

The Beermen actually shot better from the field with a 38-of-81 clip compared to TNT’s 35-of-82 but the KaTropa made an amazing 24-0 run in the second quarter that shifted the momentum on their side and SMB had no answer.   

“Well ah, if we look at the stats makikita n’yo almost even. Still mataas pa rin kami sa shooting percentage but napabayaan namin ang lead namin nu’ng first quarter,” said SMB coach Leo Austria. “Although, first time namin na nagkaroon ng good start I think lumamang kami ng 16 (sic) but in the second quarter we allowed them to play their game.”

The Beermen built their biggest lead, 36-19, off a Terrence Romeo triple to open the second period only to see TNT ignite a blitz.

Terrence Jones sparked the KaTropa’s run with a lay-up. The TNT import scored 11 more points in the run capped by a trey that gave KaTropa a 43-36 advantage with just 4:29 left before the half.

TNT entered halftime with a 55-50 lead.  

“Nagkaroon kami ng kaunting scramble sa offense and defense,” said Austria.

The mentor also felt that his wards veered away from their game plan.  

“We’re trying to get the ball to June Mar (Fajardo) but something happened kumbaga the players ay talagang may iniisip din na magpapanalo sa team but hindi nangyari yun,” he said.

“We’re not able to get some good breaks and a little bit panic siguro noong nakahabol sila,” Austria added. “In the second half they were able to control the game.”

TNT also shot better from the outside with 15 triples compared to SMB’s eight.

Jones hit 5-of-9 from the outside, Roger Pogoy also had 5-of-9 while Don Trollano nailed three, causing a SMB a big headache that Austria hope they could address in Game 4.

“We were able to recover in the third quarter but they were really focused and hungrier. Then some of our shots hindi pumasok eh especially coming from those players na gumawa before,” said Austria. “Makikita naman natin eh. Eight out of 26 three points against (15) of 38. I think that’s one thing na kailangang ma-solve ulit namin.”

Game 4 is on Sunday.




Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles

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