San Miguel Beer coach Leo Austria cited poor shooting and anemic rebounding as turning point in Sunday's 86-82 loss to Magnolia in Game 3 of the PBA Philippine Cup Finals.
The Beermen shot a miserable 32.9 percent from the clip while getting mugged off the boards, 71-46, as the Hotshots dictated the tempo in Game 3 for 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven series.
"32.9 percent shooting is very low for us," Austria said. "In the past, our shooting percentage in the championship is usually 40-plus to 50 percent.
"And we also allowed our opponent to have 25 more rebounds, it means that were outhustled," he added.
A testament to the Beermen's lackluster showing was the Hotshots' successful defense on June Mar Fajardo, who had to work for his numbers against the likes of Rafi Reavis, Ian Sangalang and unheralded reserve Kyle Pascual.
Fajardo finished with 17 points and 14 rebounds but shot a woeful 4-of-11 from the field while committing six turnovers.
The rest of San Miguel's go-to-guys also had off nights with Alex Cabagnot going 4-of-13, Chris Ross 2-of-10, Terrence Romeo 5-of-13, Arwind Santos 8-of-22 and Marcio Lassiter 2-of-9.
San Miguel did make 10 threes but missed 33, including seven in a row during a decisive stretch in the fourth that saw Magnolia scoring seven straight points to go up 75-66 with 4:30 remaining in the game.
"They clogged our big men in the post, every entry pass was contested and we're not able to shoot from the perimeter," said Austria.
Austria and his coaching staff are expected to use the two-day respite to make key adjustments as San Miguel tries to avoid falling to a 3-1 hole.
"There's no ample time to make a big adjustment but we will see," he said. (JT)