SMB cracks TNT code

SMB equalizes finals series, 2-2. (Photo courtesy of PBA)

By: Leobert Julian la Peña

DISH IN, back-down, kick out and splash.

SMB displayed its vintage 4-pattern play that led them to numerous championships through the years.

With the Beermen looking for answers, coach Leo Austria went back to the basics, let the game come to them, and not worry too much about individual match-ups. It worked like a charm.

As SMB evened up the series with a 106-101 victory on Sunday, they also found out that what has worked for them ever since remains efficient until now.

Despite June Mar Fajardo’s inconsistent performance in the finals, Austria did not hesitate to once again count on the 5-time MVP.

All game long Fajardo bulldozed every TNT defender that stood in his way in the block, even Jones.

The basic SMB play clicked early on and punished TNT throughout the four quarter as SMB looked like their old selves.

Fajardo kicking out to wide open teammates was the theme all night long. TNT’s defense was left scrambling to find shooters as they were forced to double SMB’s behemoth center.

SMB employed a zone defense against Jones to force him into perimeter shots and clogging the lane when he decides to drive.

With Jones relegated to an outside shooter, SMB took full advantage of their size inside and defended the glass efficiently

It seems as though coach Austria has found the keys to the series.

The pressure is now on TNT to make their adjustments before Game 5.