Defending champion San Miguel Beer coach Leo Austria commended his players Arwind Santos and Marcio Lassiter for showing resolve during the highly physical game against TNT KaTropa on Saturday night in Season 43 Philippine Basketball Association Commissioner’s Cup at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.
“I salute Arwind Santos and Marcio (Lassiter) for showing that they are out there to win games. To the point that they are ready to rumble for the sake of the team,” Austria told reporters after San Miguel Beer’s 99-94 victory against TNT.
“We’re just fortunate they missed their free throws, while ours went in. I think that’s one of the turning points.”
Santos was thrown out of the game along with TNT’s Anthony Semerad for getting involved in an altercation. Both were cited with a flagrant foul penalty 2 infraction in the last seven minutes of the fourth period.
Lassiter and TNT’s Terrence Romeo also had a heated argument resulting in their ejection at the 3:40 mark of the second period.
San Miguel Beer’s win-loss record has improved to 4-4, for a share of No. 7 with Magnolia and GlobalPort.
“We are very thankful that we were able to survive this game against TNT because the players know the importance of this game. I’m happy also with those players especially (Renaldo) Balkman. He kept his promise that we will win despite playing with a sprained ankle in the last six minutes,” added Austria.
Meanwhile, Philippine Basketball Association Commissioner Willie Marcial said that all players who committed infraction during the game would be dealt with accordingly.
“I will call all those players involved one of these days, and then let’s see what are the recommendations of the technical committee,” Marcial told The Manila Times.
TNT Coach Nash Racela chose to look at the incident as a positive development.
“This is a kind of game that will just make us as a better team,” said Racela.
TNT’ s win-loss record dropped to 6-3 after suffering back-to-back losses.