San Miguel 109 – TNT 97, San Miguel leads series 2-1
Sunday night’s game three between TNT KaTropa and San Miguel Beermen in the 2017 PBA Commissioner’s Cup Finals was a battle of wills, a back-and-forth affair of adjustments, and not to mention, a ton of physical play.
In the end, Alex Cabagnot’s 28-point, 9-rebound, 6-assist performance proved to be the difference that gave the Beermen the 2-1 edge.
“Those are the same shots that’s presentable to me. Not every night you score 28 points or something,” Cabagnot said about his big game. “But hopefully the little things that help the team, you know, the little things that you do – rebounds, try to make the steals and play defense, and hopefully the shot goes in.”
And for Game 3, the Beermen didn’t need to be down 0-17 to get their motor going.
“I’m expecting a lot of things [that] might happen in the game because I know the opponent really stepped up because they have to bounce back from their loss,” SMB head coach Leo Austria explained. “But we had a different agenda, and the players because of their pride, we didn’t have a bad start, and that’s what we want to happen.”
After their game three win, the Beermen are now looking to take a commanding 3-1 lead in the series. A game three in a best-of-seven is the calm before the storm. It’s the slow climb before the fast, downward boost of a rollercoaster ride. If TNT forces a tie come game four, then it’s free-for-all in the next game as well.
But Sunday night was just a matter of the teams testing each other out after what they learned in the first two games. Game two might have been a blowout, but even from that devastating loss, both teams their share of adjustments and changes for game four. Four instance, the Beermen did a tremendous job in containing Jayson Castro who committed 10 turnovers.
Still, a veteran and a championship team like San Miguel know that you are only good as your last game.
“It’s far from over. We don’t want to celebrate this game because this win is nothing yet, okay?” Austria strongly noted.
If the first three games are any indication of how tough to get a win is, then you can expect that the next set of games will also be a grindhouse.
“There’s so many things for them to adjust, especially next game will be on Wednesday, so we have two days off before the fourth game,” Austria said about their opponent. “Makaka-rest sila at makakapag-isip. Alam natin na there’s a lot of people helping them, a lot of coaching staff, so let’s see what will happen. But in our part, so it’s our job to see what kind of adjustment we have to do.”
San Miguel now holds a 2-1 lead, but by the looks of it, this series is just getting started.