A pivotal matchup early in the conference.
The San Miguel Beermen escaped with a 100-98 win against the Magnolia Hotshots in their PBA Governors’ Cup Sunday matchup. The Beermen appeared to be cruising to a comfortable victory until the locals of the Hotshots, led by Paul Lee (19 points), managed to make it a tight game towards the end. But the comeback attempt fell short, with San Miguel sniper Marcio Lassiter making sure of it by dialing in 18 points (6 three-pointers).
Aside from SMB going 4-0 and Magnolia remaining winless in three games, the result also magnified another dilemma that Hotshots coach Vito Victolero and his squad are facing: the lack of production from their import, Erik McCree. Once again, McCree was outplayed not only by his counterpart in Cameron Clark (19 points, 10 rebounds), but also by the opposing locals and even by some of his teammates.
To that point, here is a summary of the Euro veteran’s last three performances. We'll let you decide if he should be given the pink slip or if Magnolia should ride it out with him.
Game 1 vs Converge FiberXers
McCree scored 38 but missed a forced shot to win the game. Converge defeated Magnolia, 111-109.
Game 2 vs TNT Tropang Giga
McCree played like James Harden, only this time, it was the turnover-prone version of The Beard. The struggling Magnolia reinforcement put up a lowly 12 points to go with his 8 turnovers. TNT defeated Magnolia, 93-85.
Game 3 vs Magnolia Hotshots
In their third straight loss, McCree had another anemic performance, putting up 13 points on 1 out of 10 shooting from deep.
We’re not saying that McCree is a bad basketball player. We’re pretty sure he’s way better than the numbers he’s been producing suggest. Maybe it’s just a chemistry issue with his teammates and the coach’s system that’s been bothering him. However, that might be a big enough reason for Magnolia to look for other options.