SMB coach Leo Austria practically rotated only eight men who all responded with heads-up performances as they tore apart an Alaska team losing significant strength on the absence of Chris Banchero and Calvin Abueva.
The Beermen left nothing to chance and made it five in a row in playoff matches versus the Aces following their epic fightback from 0-3 down in the 2016 Philippine Cup Finals.
Austria said they just wanted to make sure to get the crucial head start in the series.
“In any series, it’s always important to win Game One. We wanted to win the game to dictate the tempo and for them to think hard for their adjustment,” said Austria.
“We came out wanting to put pressure on them. We still need two more. We’re gonna take care of things, and we’ll play with more energy,” said Marcio Lassiter, one of six Beermen churning out double-digit outputs in their Game One victory.
June Mar Fajardo top scored with 17 points while also hauling 11 rebounds, Renaldo Balkman put up 13 markers and 11 boards in a double-double game while Lassiter, Alex Cabagnot, Arwind Santos and Kelly Nabong added at least 11 points each.