Gallent admits San Miguel relaxed too early against Magnolia

San Miguel head coach Jorge Gallent admitted that his team became complacent in the closing minutes of Game 1 of the PBA Commissioner’s Cup Finals against Magnolia. This allowed the Hotshots to nearly overcome a 20-point deficit late in the match.

The Beermen were ahead by as many as 20 points, 94-74, with over six minutes left in the game. However, Magnolia went on a 21-6 run to cut the lead down to just five points, 100-95, with 1:13 remaining after Aris Dionisio split his free throws.

Three made free throws in the last moments sealed the win for San Miguel as they prevailed 103-95.

Gallent admitted that his team eased up way too early. Against a determined Magnolia side, letting up is unacceptable.

“We just relaxed in the last three minutes of the game, and you know, when you relax against Magnolia, they’re just taking advantage of it,” said the SMB coach.

“It was just us relaxing for the last three minutes, and when you play a tough team like Magnolia, you have to play 48 minutes of basketball because if you don’t play 48 minutes, this is what’s going to happen.”

Missed free throws also did not help San Miguel, the coach emphasized. The Beermen only made 27 of 44 free throw attempts, translating to 61%.

“We were missing a lot of free throws, that’s why they came back,” said Gallent.

“It’s just good we didn’t panic. That’s the main thing. The players were composed and this bunch of players knew how to win. So lucky for me,” he added.

San Miguel started slow, trailing by seven early on as Magnolia’s stifling defense led to poor shooting. Gradually, though, the mighty Beermen found their rhythm and used their hot shooting to build a double-digit lead, outscoring the Hotshots 41-20 in the second quarter.

CJ Perez also highlighted the need for the team to stay composed in tense situations.

“Kailangan namin maging composed and huwag mag-relax sa mga ganung endgame, kasi nakakatakot yun.”

The Beermen will shoot for a 2-0 advantage when the two sides clash anew on Friday, 7:30pm at the SM Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.

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