By Kevin Estrada
For coach Jimmy Alapag, San Miguel Alab Pilipinas should have lost to the cellar-dwelling Saigon Heat yesterday evening in Sta. Rosa, after seeing the huge contrast in both halves.
”We got out here lucky,” said the Mighty Mouse after their 82-75 win that moved them up to second place in the ABL, in which their monster game in the first three quarters nearly went down the drain when Sam Thompson carried the Vietnamese side all by his lonesome.
That luck sums up their still-continuing quest to find the consistency all season long, where they have to play their game for the entirety of it, as common basketball sense means that the game does not end until it reaches the zeroes on the clock.
“Kinda been the story of our season up to this point,” he admitted. “And something that we’re still trying to find. That consistency in our play that we can play a complete 40-minute game, and we’re not there yet.”
With that near-meltdown averted after blowing their 23-point lead in the third, Alapag challenges his wards to get that same intensity with 12 games remaining into the regular season.
“We need to find that consistency and how we play because we can’t going up and down,” he added, noting that their record consists of huge wins against contenders such as Mono Vampire and the Taipei Fubon Braves, and such disparaging losses to the Macau Wolf Warriors and the KL Dragons who are at the bottom half of the standings.
“The great teams find the way to be consistent.”
Point-guard Jason Brickman had echoed his mentor’s thoughts as being the coach on the floor, admitted that their complacency played a key role.
“Just not playing with energy and we got complacent,” he conceded. “When adversity hits, we got to keep our poise and finish our games”.
However, both Brickman and Alapag welcomed the extended break before their next game, with their first encounter against the Macau Black Bears in the 16th was postponed by the ABL owing to the threat of the novel-Coronavirus.
“We welcome the break to be honest,” Alapag said, as they can now properly set their sights against the Dragons, seeking to improve their showing in the Malaysian capital after the 2016 champions have beaten them badly on their first meeting. “It’ll give us an opportunity to get some quality practice time, and just get better.”
“It’s good to get some rest and get ready for Malaysia [Dragons]. I think we’ll have a lot of energy cause how they beat us the last game.”
Follow the writer on Twitter: @kevinlestrada
Photo courtesy of Asean Basketball League