Phoenix looks to adjust after loss to San Miguel 'national team'
MANILA, Philippines – The Phoenix Fuel Masters sure got a rude welcome to their first-ever PBA semifnals run in franchise history.
Despite finishing as the top seed in the 2019 Philippine Cup, Phoenix still got run over in Game 1 by four-peat conference champions San Miguel, 88-100, Saturday, April 13.
Fuel Masters head coach Louie Alas knew all to well the beast they have to slay for their historic campaign to continue.
“Sabi ko nga sa kanila, we’re facing a national team here,” he said after the game. “So yung margin of error dito napakaliit kaso ang laki ng turnovers namin. You can’t blink against San Miguel. Bibigay talaga nila sa 'yo yan.”
(I told them, we’re facing a national team here. Our margin for error is very slim but we still had a lot of turnovers. You can’t blink against San Miguel. They’ll really give you their all.)
Alas acknowledged that his players had first-time jitters especially against the four-time PH Cup kings, but refused to accept it as an excuse.
“Lagi naman kasama yan, yung parang semifinals jitters sa amin pero tapos na yun,” he said. “May experience na kami ngayon sa semis. So if we will do the same thing yung may span ng game na magiging soft kami, two to three minutes before you know, double-figures na yung lamang sa amin. So kailangan maglaro kami ng A-game defensively for 48 minutes.”
(Jitters will always be there but that’s all over with. We have semis experience now. So if we will do the same thing where there’s a span in the game that we’ll be soft, give it two to three minutes and before you know it, they have a double-figure lead. So we really need to give a defensive A-game for 48 minutes.)
Despite going down by as many as 24 points in the loss, Phoenix still had something to build on after bridging the gap as close as 7 in the 4th.
“Yun yung mga adjustments na gagawin namin, paano kami nag-run and paano kami nalamangan kasi bukas wala ka ng gagawin sa practice siguro papawis lang, puro viewing na,” Alas said.
(Those are the adjustments that we’ll look at, how we ran and we were run over. Tomorrow, we’ll just break a sweat in practice then it’s all viewing from there.)
“Ang importante dito tapusin natin ng tama yung game,” he continued. “Kasi hindi lang naman Game 1 yung pinaglalabanan natin.”
(What’s important here is that we finish games right. We’re not only fighting for Game 1.) – Rappler.com