MANILA, Philippines – From zero to hero.
Simon Enciso delivered when it mattered most and drained the game-winning three-pointer in an all-important 98-96 win over Bay Area that kept San Miguel alive in their best-of-five semifinals on Sunday, December 18.
Enciso finished with 16 points, 7 assists, and 4 rebounds, capping his stellar showing with the go-ahead triple with under 15 seconds left as the Beermen avoided a sweep and shaved their series deficit to 1-2.
It was a major turnaround for Enciso, who laid a big fat egg in their 114-95 loss to the Dragons on Friday as he went scoreless for the first time in the playoffs this conference.
“We just came into practice, locked in, and just worried about one game at a time,” said Enciso. “That is all you really can do as a player – you can only control what you can control.”
“Luckily we came out locked in, we executed, we came out with the win.”
Enciso has been a key contributor for San Miguel, particularly during its six-game winning streak bridging the end of the elimination round and the quarterfinals.
Over that stretch, the Filipino-American guard averaged 12 points, 6 assists, 3.2 rebounds, and 1 steal.
So with Enciso rediscovering his touch for the Beermen, it probably was not coincidence that it also marked the first time San Miguel beat Bay Area in four attempts.
“Just staying locked in and executing,” said Enciso.
The Beermen, though, still teeter on the brink of elimination as the Dragons get another crack at closing the series in Game 4 on Wednesday, December 21, at the Mall of Asia Arena.
But Enciso and the rest of San Miguel are unfazed.
“This game is over, and now, we have to focus on Wednesday,” he said. – Rappler.com