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PBA: SMB finds a ‘real’ import

About 10 minutes after Grand Slam-geared San Miguel Beer ended the seven-game winning streak of Barangay Ginebra San Miguel last Sunday, coach Tim Cone walked out of the locker room, his head bowed.

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When reporters approached him for a few quotes, the PBA’s winningest coach politely begged off as though his team had just absorbed its seventh straight loss.

Several minutes later, Cone’s top point guard, LA Tenorio, dodged the bullet and essayed a similar hasty retreat.
But all wasn’t lost for the scribes.

The man of the hour – SMB’s new import Terrence Watson – was full of energy as he engaged sportswriters in an impromptu Q&A at the hallway of the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

“Those types of guys made it easy for me,” said Watson, referring to his new teammates after SMB’s nail-biting 107-103 victory over Ginebra in the PBA Governors’ Cup.

The 6-foot-5 Watson debuted with 28 points on 11-of-21 shooting with 17 rebounds in 39 minutes despite a two-day preparation following his call-up as replacement to the unproductive Terik Bridgeman.

Watson said it wasn’t just him, crediting his SMB teammates for backing him up in a key win that improved the franchise’s record to 5-3, moving the Beermen into a tie for fourth to fifth places with the TNT KaTropa.

Arwind Santos, the league MVP in 2013, came off the bench to add 23 points, Chris Ross contributed 20 points, five assists, four rebounds and four steals, Alex Cabagnot had 16, including 11 in the fourth quarter, and reigning three-time MVP June Mar Fajardo finished with 10 points and 15 rebounds.

Must have been an invigorating experience being around Watson.