Diamond Stone gave the explosive performance expected of him in giving San Miguel Beer the boost it needed in holding off Rain or Shine, 113-105, Sunday in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup at the PhilSports Arena.
June Mar Fajardo was his usual steady self and CJ Perez also came alive when the Beermen needed him to and provided ample help in the fourth period that enabled them to fully shake off the threat of the Elasto Painters.
Clearly, however, it was Stone who set the tone before eventually finishing with 42 points and 13 rebounds, a marked improvement from his 20-point, eight-rebound debut in a 106-109 loss to Blackwater in Wednesday of last week.
“I thought I’ve adjusted well. Coach (Leo Austria) did a great job this week after the first game of getting me adjusted, getting me the plays,” said Stone, who shot 17-of 29 from the field.
“Coach told me before the game, in practice,’ Don’t be shy, be aggressive’ and so that’s what I did today,” added the former NBA campaigner. “You know, try to be aggressive and try to go for the win.”
“In (his) first game, it was really hard for him because he’s had no practice with the team, he doesn’t know his team, he doesn’t know our system and worse he doesn’t know the kind of basketball we have here,” piped in Austria.
“But I’m happy today with his game. It seems he realized na he needs to perform.”