SAN Miguel can't afford to lose big leads and expect to win the PBA Commissioner's Cup championship against TnT Katropa.
Import Chris McCullough noted the Beermen again failed to protect the basketball in Game 3 Friday night when they lost grip of a commanding 17-point lead in the second quarter and allowed the Katropa to have a new lease on life.
The end result had TnT claiming a 115-105 win to regain the lead in the best-of-seven title series, 2-1.
"We can't come out like that. Everybody's got to be ready. Everybody's got to be on the same page mentally," said the 24-year-old McCullough.
It was the same scenario for San Miguel Beer in Game 2 when TnT also rallied back from the depths of a 17-point deficit, although the Beermen managed to weather the Katropa rally and held on for a 127-125 win in double overtime.
They failed to pull off the same feat the next time around as TnT detonated a 24-0 run to highlight its comeback from the grave.
McCullough, who topscored with 27 points and 13 rebounds, refused to cite fatigue as factor for the Beermen's sudden meltdown late in the first half.
"Not at all," he said. "We came out ready to play. We got a 13 or 14 (point lead), and then we let them get the lead again."
The first round pick of the Brooklyn Nets in the 2015 NBA draft, said the Beermen should play smart enough if they are to tie the series in Game 4 Sunday night at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
"We got to make plays, we got to take care of the ball, and we've got to slow the game down," he said. (RG)