MANILA, Philippines – Not wanting to fall into a 0-2 hole, San Miguel Beermen import Elijah Millsap vows to be aggressive from tip-off come game 2 of the best-of-5 semifinals against Barangay Ginebra on Wednesday, September 28.
Millsap, who joined San Miguel towards the end of the elimination round and was also the franchise's import in 2013, owned up to his slow 11-point first half even though the team notched its biggest lead at 39-26 in the second quarter.
"I think I picked it up too late. I take the blame in the first half," he said after the 115-108 defeat. "Next game I'm going to be more aggressive in the first half."
The 29-year-old American was not satisifed with his triple-double performance of 29 points, 14 rebounds, and 11 assists on top of two steals as San Miguel struggled to get contribution from the bench with only 5 points outside of the starters.
Ginebra, on the other hand, found plenty of help with 39 bench points.
"I'm adjusted to the style of play, it's just the certain things that you get to work on when you go through for a full season or a training camp," Millsap said.
"Things like fundamental defense and learning different tactics in the defensive end, learn all the plays that I'm struggling with and picking it up on the fly. I got to do my work, watch film a little bit more, sit down with the coaches a little bit more, and do the hardest as I can to try to help this team out."
Unlike most teams where imports are meant to plug holes in certain aspects of the game, Millsap is more of a boost for the already very talented Beermen with back-to-back MVP June Mar Fajardo leading the way.
San Miguel, champion of 3 of the last 5 conferences, is expected to bounce back strong in game 2.
"It was a good game all the way to the end," Millsap said of game 1. "It happens, man, everybody's mood is still good in the locker room. It's game 1, it's going to be a long [series]." – Rappler.com