MANILA – San Miguel Beer head coach Leo Austria admitted that they made a lot of miscues that led to their loss against Alaska, 88-82, during the first game of the 2015 PBA Philippine Cup Finals last Wednesday.
The Beermen had a strong start during the first quarter where they had a 27-5 lead with only four turnovers. However, they became careless that resulted to additional 22 turnovers in the remaining quarters of the game.
“First of all, I really don’t know what happened to us,” said Austria. “We committed a lot of turnovers. We had 26 turnovers and how can you win with that many turnovers?”
Austria commended the Aces’ bench that spurred their win with 61 points headed by Calvin Abueva and Chris Banchero.
“We had a good start and we were not able to sustain our intensity because of the bench of Alaska. Their bench scored more than 50 points,” noted Austria.
In terms of turnovers, the Aces only had 17 turnovers, but the only seven after halftime.
Austria also said that Alaska was prepared to defend their reigning MVP June Mar Fajardo, preventing him from scoring. Fajardo only made 14 points throughout the game, six after the first half.
“The execution was very bad in the second and third quarter and we were not able to get the ball to June Mar because of their defense. They did a good job against June Mar,” said Austria.
Aside from putting pressure on Fajardo, the Aces also hounded Alex Cabagnot who only scored six points.
“I’m expecting Alex to play well but he wasn’t able to deliver against the suffocating defense by Alaska,” said Austria.
Chris Lutz scored 24 points for the Beermen. SMB’s other MVP Arwind Santos had 12 points, but committed seven turnovers.