Austria: SMB unable to execute down the stretch due to lack of focus
10:48 AM PHT
- Charmie Lising
The San Miguel Beermen were held scoreless in the final three minutes of their 87-73 defeat at the hands of Barangay Ginebra in Game 5 of the Commissioner's Cup finals.
With 3:17 left, June Mar Fajardo roared with a left-handed dunk in transition for an 83-78 lead, but it all went downhill for San Miguel after that basket.
The Beermen wasted multiple opportunities in the next sequences, all while questioning the referees' calls and non-calls. They were particularly protesting an alleged out-of-bounds violation on Scottie Thompson and a Justin Brownlee traveling infraction, which both happened prior to Thompson's pivotal go-ahead bucket.
"We tried our best to score but [there was] a lot of banging inside and we did not get good breaks," said SMB coach Leo Austria.
Austria, who refused to dwell on the officiating, thought they still had a good chance of winning the game. He called for a final huddle when they were down by three with 23 seconds left, but they were not able to design any play due to continuous complaining.
"Some of the players are complaining because of fouls. Even in my last timeout, I wasn't able to give an instruction because they kept on complaining so the timeout expired," Austria shared.
While the coach understands his players' frustrations, he still rued the team's lack of focus in the crucial moments.
"They can feel it, they experience it inside, but it's beyond our control," he said. "I think I should be proud of them because the energy is there, the decision-making is there. But the last possessions and the breaks of the game did not go our way."
"That's beyond my control, beyond the control of players," Austria stressed. "Maybe there were a lot of fouls that were not called but that's a basketball game. It could happen even in the NBA. So we have to accept it and we have to move forward."
On the cusp of losing the crown, the Beermen would need to hasten their recovery in order to survive a do-or-die situation on Wednesday. With their backs against the wall, Austria trusts that his players will come through.
"Maybe the players will realize that there's no time to be out-focused, there's no time to relax," Austria said. "If you're in this situation, all you have to do is be positive, be focused, and give your energy. Although Wednesday could be the end of the conference, expect us to bounce back."Source: Google News Austria | Netizen 24 Austria