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Phoenix coach takes blame for SMB loss, sees positives for Fuel Masters

MANILA, Philippines – Louie Alas' first game as head coach of the Phoenix Fuel Masters could have been a lot better, but it could have also gone much worse.

Against a powerful San Miguel squad that is eyeing a fourth consecutive All-Filipino title, the Fuel Masters managed to stay competitive until the final six minutes before running out of steam. The Beermen led by as much as 19 points before settling for a 104-96 victory.

Phoenix coach Louie Alas. Richard Esguerra, ABS-CBN Sports
Alas, who admitted in the preseason that he was still adjusting to being a head coach once more, after years of being a deputy in Alaska, took responsibility for the setback.

"It's my fault," he said. "Kasi alam na alam kong pupunta kay June Mar (Fajardo), nag-double pa rin kami. That's the tendency."

Indeed, San Miguel picked Phoenix apart whenever they sent two players to guard Fajardo. While they got some turnovers off the big man, more often than not Fajardo would find an open teammate, and the Beermen would whip the ball around the perimeter for a three-pointer.

Author: Camille B. Naredo, ABS-CBN News
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