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Is Watson here to stay?

There’s more to just winning the PBA Governors Cup title for San Miguel Beer. A Grand Slam is within reach and if San Miguel bags the third conference title, it’ll be the second season sweep in franchise history and the first for coach Leo Austria. In all, there have been five Grand Slams in the PBA’s 42-year existence – Crispa in 1977 with coach Baby Dalupan, Crispa in 1983 with coach Tommy Manotoc, San Miguel in 1989 with coach Norman Black, Alaska in 1996 with coach Tim Cone and San Mig Coffee in 2014 with Cone.

Austria’s not taking any chances in the Governors Cup, knowing what’s at stake. San Miguel is just a jewel away from snatching the triple crown. The team is on its third import after Wendell McKines and Terik Bridgeman with Terrence Watson now in the saddle.

Terrence Watson of SMB.
McKines, 29, was on his third tour of PBA duty after Alaska in 2013 and Rain Or Shine in 2015 so his familiarity with the local league was a huge advantage. His numbers were strong as he averaged 26.2 points, 14.2 rebounds, 4.4 assists and 37.8 minutes in five games with San Miguel. But the problem was with McKines in harness, the Beermen could only show a 3-2 record with losses to Star by six and to NLEX by three. Not good enough was the assessment.

McKines’ situation was difficult because he’s basically an inside operator with virtually no perimeter game. Basically, he’s a duplication of what JuneMar Fajardo brings to the table. Austria would rather play a more versatile import, someone who can pop from the outside, slash and help out on the boards from multiple positions.

With the vote in to let go of McKines, San Miguel gambled on Terik Bridgeman, a 6-4 1/2 wing who never saw action in a high-level league. Bridgeman played for William Paterson in Division III and Caldwell in Division II then this past season, averaged 11.9 points in the Georgian league, rated in Europe’s lower tier. Bridgeman looked lost in the face of tough competition in the PBA and was a bust. He had two points and six rebounds in San Miguel’s 90-79 loss to Alaska and four points and four rebounds in a 103-96 win over Rain Or Shine. Bridgeman’s two-game averages of 3.0 points, 5.0 rebounds and 18.5 minutes were a clear indication that the level of play was way over his head.

Author: Joaquin Henson, Philippine Star
Full Article: http://www.philstar.com/sports/2017/09/13/1738660/watson-here-stay

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