The San Miguel Beermen is scheduled for a head-to-head game against the Purefoods-Star Hotshots at 7:00 P.M. on June 16, 2017 in Mall of Asia Arena.
With 2-1 leading in the semi-finals series, the Beermen have the chance to close it out and advance to the 2017 PBA Commissioner’s Cup Finals while for the Hotshots, all of its remaining games are now a do-or-go-home situation.
After a 6-0 blast orchestrated by Star led by their tireless import Ricardo Ratliffe, most PBA fans thought that the Hotshots stole the game from the Beermen in Game 3.
However, for the three-time PBA Philippine Cup champs the game isn’t over as long that the game clock still ticking.
With six seconds remaining in the fourth quarter, Marcio Lassiter grabbed a rebound out of a scramble play inside the post.
Without hesitation, the SMB deadshot three-pointer did a step back jumper. The ball flew in the air, kissed the glass and it hits the bottom of the net.
Coach Leo Austria knows that the momentum is now in San Miguel’s side and wanted to avoid a knockout game.
“It’s really hard if you’re in the situation of Star. They will do everything to tie the series, but I think with this kind of situation, momentum is on our side, hindi na namin pababayaan ito,” said Austria.
Star will once again rely on their defense in tonight’s game but should find another scorer who can contribute more points. For the past two games, Allein Maliksi was held in single digit output.
Maliksi needs to find ways to get his points flowing just like in their series opener.
Rebounding is one of the categories that keep Star in contention. In Game 3 they have outrebounded the Beermen 57-37. In Game 2, Ricardo Ratliffe was a monster in the boards with his 35 rebounds.
“Star actually rebounded really well. They outrebounded us big. That’s one of the keys we needed to kinda get and reinforce in trying to get more rebounds. We’ve given them extra shots and that kinda given them a lot of buckets. If we can limit their rebounding, that could be good for us,” added Lassiter.