Magnolia import Tyler Bey kept it simple when asked what went wrong with the Hotshots in Game 5 of the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) Commissioner's Cup Finals on Sunday.
“We can’t just let guys lose 30,” he told reporters with a sad face after the 108-98 loss at the Smart Araneta Coliseum. “We need to respect everyone on your team and I feel like we didn’t respect them today, and that was our problem.”
Bey lamented his team's inability to suppress Jericho Cruz, San Miguel's spark plug who made it rain that night on the way to matching his career-best 30 points.
“I feel like we didn’t adapt quickly enough,” he said. “Cruz came down. He was eight for what, 14? But I know he had a great game. He (did) what he had to do.”
Bey had 34 points, eight rebounds, three steals and a block. But every time he got Magnolia closer, Cruz was there to hit a three-pointer. Open, contested, off-balance – it mattered little to the two-time Mr. Quality Minutes awardee, who helped lead the Beermen to the doorstep of a league-best 29th PBA title.
“I feel like we didn’t adapt quickly enough. We took it lightly and that was our problem. Like I said, we don’t respect it and we pay for it,” he said.
It wasn't just Cruz that Magnólia failed to account for, as Simon Enciso scored another 15 goals to help San Miguel advance. The Hotshots are now behind in the series, but Bey pointed out that they have been in this dangerous situation before. And that's what keeps the do-it-all import optimistic ahead of Wednesday's potential clincher.
“We just have to go out, do what we did in the last two games before this one. I feel good about this conference, bro. I mean, we lost 0-2, we can do it again, we can win two more games,” he said.
“Why not? We're a great team. I don't feel like our backs are against the wall. Obviously, we lost one (game) and they still have one more to go. But I believe in this team, I believe in the coaching staff and I believe in myself , so we're pretty comfortable,” Bey added. INQ