For coach Leo Austria, now is not the time for San Miguel to relax.
Austria stressed the need to stay grounded even after San Miguel blew out TNT in a 116-90 romp on Sunday, October 10, to level their PBA Philippine Cup best-of-seven semifinals clash at 2-2.
Seven players scored in double figures as San Miguel ripped TNT to pieces from start to finish en route to the most lopsided win of the series.
"They have to keep grounded and [refrain from celebrating] this big win for us. Instead, [they should] think of something that could help us again in our next game," Austria said.
Coming off a 17-point loss in Game 3, San Miguel showed a sense of urgency in Game 4, knowing another defeat meant falling into a 1-3 series hole.
Mo Tautuaa notched a conference-high 25 points, with 19 coming in the first half alone, to go with 9 rebounds as he capitalized on the early foul trouble of TNT bigs Poy Erram and Troy Rosario.
The usual suspects for San Miguel also delivered, with Terrence Romeo, June Mar Fajardo, Arwind Santos, Marcio Lassiter, Alex Cabagnot, and CJ Perez scoring in twin digits.
"We realized that there's no tomorrow, if we lost [and went down] 3-1, it's very hard to recover, especially if you're up against a very organized and very disciplined team like Talk 'N Text," Austria said.
"[They're a] well-coached team. We cannot relax."
Austria expects a big bounce-back performance from TNT, as evidenced by the trend of their conference head-to-head matchup.
San Miguel won their elimination-round clash, but TNT redeemed itself by clinching the semifinals opener.
As San Miguel came back from a 19-point deficit to steal Game 2 and tie the series at 1-1, TNT once again seized control with a convincing Game 3 win.
"There's a lot of adjustments. Let's see what we can do," Austria said. – Rappler.com
Delfin Dioquino dreamt of being a PBA player, but he did not have the skills to make it. So he pursued the next best thing to being an athlete – to write about them. He took up journalism at the University of Santo Tomas and joined Rappler as soon as he graduated in 2017.