Filtered By: Sports

Higher voltage: CJ Perez says San Miguel needs to surpass Meralco's energy in Game 4

The Meralco Bolts have so far gotten the best of the San Miguel Beermen in their best-of-seven PBA Philippine Cup finals duel.

In order to give the Bolts a taste of their own medicine, San Miguel's fearless slasher CJ Perez stressed they would need to match — or better, surpass — the energy and intensity of Meralco, especially in the rebounding department.

"Sobrang crucial (Game 3) kasi ayaw naming madikdik talaga," Perez said.

"'Yun nga, kailangan talaga namin ng mataas na energy para matalo namin ang Meralco. Talagang du'n kami natatalo sa rebounds--offensive rebounds. Ang dami. And their hustles."

(Game 3 is crucial. We need to have high energy to beat Meralco. We lost in rebounds, offensive rebounds, there's a lot. Their hustles as well.)

The wards of head coach Luigi Trillo stunned the defending champions when they drew first blood by eking out a 93-86 Game 1 win behind the duo of Chris Banchero and Chris Newsome. That game saw Meralco outrebounding San Miguel by a board, 51 to 50, with a big difference in the offensive boards, where the Bolts outclassed the Beermen, 20 to 14.

Although the Beermen would even out the series by taking Game 2, they still had to stage a desperate comeback attempt after the Bolts led almost all game long. Thanks to a pair of triples from Marcio Lassiter and CJ Perez, San Miguel avoided a 0-2 hole and escaped with a 95-94 victory.

But once again, Meralco had more rebounds than San Miguel in that game, 46 to 43.

Similar to the past two games, the Bolts once again crashed the board more times than the Beermen did in Game 3, grabbing 57 rebounds against just the 50 San Miguel.

One of Meralco's big men in Cliff Hodge said rebounding was one of their focal points, especially going up against no less than seven-time MVP June Mar Fajardo.

"It's definitely a focus of interest for us. We know that if we can dominate the rebounding, we'll have a great shot at winning the game," the mercurial forward said.

"All the bigs have to guard June Mar and try to slow him down. I mean he's the best, the GOAT (Greatest of All Time) of the PBA and it's a hard job for them to slow him down and they gotta box him out so I'm just trying to get as many rebounds as I can."

San Miguel is expected to adjust their game plan with the two-day break before they plunge back to action in Game 4 on Wednesday.

"Malaking bagay samin 'yon 'yung dalawang araw na pahinga. And siyempre lalo na kay June Mar. Talagang hirap na hirap si kuya June at kailangan niyang magpahinga," Perez said.

"Kailangan din naming mag adjust kung ano man kailangan i-adjust."

(Two-day rest is big for us, especially for June Mar. He really is being challenged so he needs to rest. We need to adjust as well.)

—JKC, GMA Integrated News