PBA Commissioner’s Cup

Back in rotation, Simon Enciso keys San Miguel closer to PBA crown

Delfin Dioquino

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Back in rotation, Simon Enciso keys San Miguel closer to PBA crown

DEADSHOT. Simon Enciso in action for the San Miguel Beermen in the 2023-24 PBA Commissioner's Cup.

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Simon Enciso milks every bit of his surprise starting role after playing spot minutes the entire playoffs as San Miguel moves on the cusp of the PBA Commissioner's Cup title

MANILA, Philippines – Simon Enciso’s return to San Miguel’s rotation has the Beermen on the cusp of another PBA title.

Enciso milked every bit of his surprise starting role as he keyed San Miguel to a 3-2 lead in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup finals by being a prominent figure in a 108-98 win over Magnolia in Game 5 on Sunday, February 11.

Sidelined in Games 2 and 4, the veteran guard netted a conference-high 15 points after going 5-of-9 from beyond the arc in 30 minutes of action – the longest he played in this playoffs.

He joined hands with Jericho Cruz, who finished with 30 points off 8 three-pointers, as they accounted for 80% of the 16 treys the Beermen sank.

“I’ve been here before. [I’ve been] hitting the gym, staying ready when my name is called. That’s what I did. Luckily, all that hard work paid off,” said Enciso.

A starter in the first four games of the conference, Enciso missed a huge chunk of the elimination round after going under the knife to remove bone spurs from his knee.

When he got back, Enciso found it hard to reclaim his place in the rotation as San Miguel rode on a franchise-record-tying 11-game winning streak.

He saw action in just four of the eight playoff games prior to Game 5, logging only 20 minutes combined across those appearances.

But with Beermen head coach Jorge Gallent needing to change things up after losing the last two games, Enciso welcomed the challenge.

Enciso came out firing from the get-go as he drained four three-pointers in the first half, allowing the Beermen to enter the break with a 48-41 lead en route to the win that has San Miguel staring at its 29th championship.

“When you sit out and watch your guys play, the competitiveness in me just comes out. Just trying to be that competitor. I wanted to be on the floor and help my team,” said Enciso.

It helped Enciso that he wanted to make his loved one proud as his father flew in from the United States to witness him play live for the first time in a decade.

“My dad hasn’t seen me play since I was in the PBA D-League 10 years ago. So to have him out here and perform like that, it’s a dream come true,” he said.

“Hopefully, I could fly off my mom and my sister and my nephews as well. That would make my dream come true just to have all my family come out here and see me play.”

Expect Enciso to play heavy minutes again as San Miguel goes for the kill in Game 6 on Wednesday, February 14, at the Araneta Coliseum. – Rappler.com

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Delfin Dioquino

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.