Marcio Lassiter set the Smart-Araneta Coliseum on fire in Game 2 against Rain or Shine, torching the hoop with a pristine 10-for-13 shooting from beyond the arc en route to a career-high 31 points, but the Pandemonium was short-lived, as the San Miguel Beermen could not find a way to script a perfect ending for the wing guy’s explosion.
In an anti-climactic finale, the Beermen saw their huge double-digit advantage in the second half disappear at the hands of a mighty Elasto Painters rally, dropping the game 113-110 as the semi-final series became even, 1-1.
Ahead by 20 at one point in the second half, Lassiter said the Beermen failed to secure stops to follow up their huge offensive game.
“I think with us, we got so relaxed. We looked up at the scoreboard, and we were up a lot of points, we should have not done that, and we should have not stopped playing,” he said
“To me it looked we were all relaxed and did not come out with the fire the from defensive side. We were settling, and did not have the same intensity on defense.”
Lassiter’s 10 triples was a PBA playoff high since Kenneth Duremdes did the same feat 12 years ago for Sta. Lucia. However, with the Beermen not stopping Rain or Shine import, Wendell McKines, the lead fizzled little by little and Lassiter’s big night was spoiled.
“Obviously we had no one stop him. He had 33 in the second half, and that’s already a great game total. If we can get stops and rebounds, that’s what it all boil downs to,” Lassiter added.
The Elasto Painters also played excellent defense in the final possession, denying Lassiter of any chance to receive the leather. The wing man added the game shouldn’t have come down to that point if the Beermen played with more effort on defense.
“They did a great job of denying me, so they did not have the opportunity to give me the ball, and they were forced to take a contested shot,” he recalled.
He hopes it becomes the point of focus the next time San Miguel tries to close out a game.
“But it shouldn’t come down to that. We should have gotten stops to seal the win,” he said.