San Miguel Beer became the first team to reach the semi-finals of the PBA Governors’ Cup, but coach Jorge Gallent’s teachers and students are struggling to face many pitfalls in the nearest stop on the way to the championship.
“Nothing comes easy now,” Gallent said after the Beermen wrapped up Converge FiberXers’ campaign with a 121-105 win in Sunday’s quarterfinals at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
And for San Miguel to succeed in the future, it will be up to players like Vic Manuel to continue delivering the big numbers he has been since June Mar Fajardo was sidelined with an MCL injury.
Manuel scored 20 points after taking all nine of his shots as the Beermen took command after spending the first two quarters trying to find a way to stop the new import FiberXers and Tom Vodanovich.
“I’m just trying to keep my confidence, especially when we’re in the semi-finals. I will continue to do my shots as long as they come in,” Manuel said in Filipino.
The veteran forward, known for his in-post moves, mid-range jumps and ability to catch the ball, averaged 21.5 points out of 20 out of 25 shots with 4.0 rebounds, 1.5 assists and 1.0 steals in the previous two games—numbers San Miguel hopes he can hold onto the best-of-five semi-finals.
‘Motivated to perform’
San Miguel’s opponents could be brothers Barangay Ginebra or NLEX in Sunday’s other quarters game.
“I’m motivated to play well to help the team, especially when I’m assigned to start,” Manuel said after the meeting began when he sidelined the first three games with a calf injury. .
Both teams were seen as a tough test for the Beermen, who had to taste tense knockouts as the FiberXers trailed behind Vodanovich.
Vodanovich, who was called up after a highly productive Jamaal Franklin had missed the pink for lack of effort in the loss to Ginebra, proved to be quite a talent with his shots outside and inside. He continued to the finish line with 39 points spiked by six pointers.
But the talented San Miguel team, even without Fajardo, was still too much for Converge as Manuel, CJ Perez and import Cam Clark led the second half to ensure that the Beermen wouldn’t play the knockout game.
Perez, another player who will play a key role in the semi-final, had 26 points, 12 rebounds, 5 assists and 5 steals while Clark scored 40 goals in a single performance. other outstanding performance.
“We had a tough time against Converge and we expected to have a tough time in the semi-finals. We just need to prepare,” Gallent said. request
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