By NIKOLE JAVIER
San Miguel head coach Jorge Gallent marveled at the Beermen’s readiness to step up when the need arises after a gutsy 108-98 win over the Magnolia Hotshots in Game 5 of the PBA Commissioner’s Cup Finals in a win that pushed them closer to winning their 29th franchise title.
The 55-year-old veteran mentor, who is vying for his first title right in his maiden year as head coach of SMB, was pleased no end to see his players deliver.
“When [Magnolia] made the run, we were just there. We made certain mistakes, but we made up for them. We forget about our mistakes and just think of the next play like what the players did,” Gallent said.
Though proud, Gallent refused to let his squad become overconfident in closing out the series and avoiding a possible do-or-die as it previously led to its back-to-back losses.
“It’s about just being confident but not being overconfident. Maybe in Game 3 and 4, we were overconfident that it brought us down again. Confidence is good, but overconfidence is bad. That’s what happened to us in the past games,” he said.
Jericho Cruz and Simon Enciso played starring roles for the Beermen with June Mar Fajardo also contributing significant numbers despite nursing a calf injury he suffered in Game 4.
His advice to his players in their crucial Game 6 is to remain relax and compose.
“They just have to be composed, we just have to be relax but we cannot commit turnovers just like that. Because Magnolia will really take advantage. Just thinking about the next play [and moving past mistakes], good things happen,” said Gallent.
“The two-day break will also help us, so it’s very good for both teams. We expect them to do the same and try to overwork us. We’re just gonna be prepared for what’s coming in Game 6.”