MANILA, Philippines - There’s still this feeling of dissatisfaction for Petron Blaze coach Gee Abanilla despite their breakaway victory in the series opener Friday.
Abanilla said they will review the video and dissect things, and it could mean more trouble to the San Mig Coffee Mixers.
The Boosters, 100-84 winners in Game One, are determined to step up even more, going for a two-game-to-nil lead versus the Mixers in Game Two of the PLDT Telpad PBA Governors Cup best-of-seven title playoff at the Smart Araneta Coliseum tonight.
Game time is at 4:45 p.m. after a brief ceremony announcing the Best Player of the Conference and Best Import. Petron’s Arwind Santos is tipped to be the BPC winner while San Mig’s Marqus Blakely is likely to be the Best Import choice.
“We have to find out why we can’t go to the free throw line. We settled for outside shots as we couldn’t get to the line when we drove to the basket. I was surprised,” said Abanilla, noting the mere 12 charities they drew in Game One.
In the end, the Boosters didn’t need the freebies as they struck practically from all corners in a vicious fourth-quarter run sending the Mixers down on their knees.
The opposing coaches said the match – tight most of the first three quarters – came down to the efforts their teams dished out in the payoff period.
“We played a great fourth quarter. It was a total team effort,” said Abanilla.
“We’re not really out there. It’s kind of unusual for a finals game. I felt we played a little satisfied and happy to be in the finals. We didn’t have a total focused effort,” said San Mig Coffee coach Tim Cone.
Beaten by Petron already twice over in the tourney, Cone has become more convinced: “We can’t bring any less of our best against this team.”
“We have to play harder and with a lot more effort,” Cone also said.
The Boosters put on display their amazing firepower in the final canto in Game One, pummeling the Mixers, 41-23.
Elijah Millsap and Chris Lutz poured in 14 and 11, respectively, as the duo outscored the entire San Mig squad in the quarter.
A big key was Petron establishing Junmar Fajardo at the paint, giving its outside gunners the confidence to shoot from afar.
Asked whether they consciously focused on defending Fajardo in the shaded lane as thought by Abanilla, Cone said: “No, not really.”
“It’s always our defensive philosophy that we do not break down. We tried, but in the fourth they started breaking us down as they started hitting their shots,” Cone pointed out.
The two teams fought tooth and nail in the first three quarters before the Boosters unleashed the full might of their arsenal in the final canto, breaking away from 59-61.