The San Miguel Beermen will aim to stretch its lead to 3-0 when they face the struggling Alaska Aces at 7:00 p.m. tonight in Game Three of the best-of-seven championship round of the 40th Philippine Basketball Association Governors’ Cup at the Araneta Coliseum.
Though his wards dominated the first two games, SMB head coach Leo Austria remains cautious of what Alaska could bring in Game Three.
“I think 2-0 is not safe yet. I am sure there will be a big adjustment comes Game Three. If we make it to 3-0, it will be hard for Alaska to motivate their players,” said Austria, a former PBA player himself. “We have to keep on playing, we have to keep doing what we’re doing right.”
SMB’s 6’1 main gunner Marcio Lassiter delivered big for his team particularly in Game Two. He scored the go-ahead three-pointer that sealed the Beermen’s come-from-behind 103-95 victory.
He is expected to deliver another dynamic performance in Game Three with the support of Best Player of the Conference June Mar Fajardo, Arwind Santos, Alex Cabagnot, Ronald Tubid, Chris Lutz, Chris Ross and import Arizona Reid, among others.
“They limited our scorers in the first half and their shooters are not visible yet, so anytime they will explode,” Austria said. “We’ll do anything for us to win. I know they really wanted to win the championship so bad. We keep monitoring the adjustment they’re doing.”
Alaska coach Alex Compton sees the need to neutralize Reid’s shooting prowess and Fajardo’s dominance of the shaded lane. He is expected to execute a new defense plan that would stop the Beermen’s shooter; something that the Aces failed to do in the first two games of the series.
Reid posted 32 points in Game One and 37 in Game Two besides a combined total of 14 assists in both games. The 6’10 Fajardo also had 18 points and 17 rebounds in Game One and finished Game Two with 16 points and 16 rebounds.
Import Romeo Travis, Calvin Abueva, Vic Manuel, JV Casio, Sonny Thoss, Chris Banchero, RJ Jazul and Cyrus Baguio are all expected to be more aggressive in Game Three to keep their team’s championship bid alive.