PBA fans know Peter June Simon as a potent scorer. But he doesnâ€™t exactly have the best reputation as a defender.
But against Barangay Ginebra, the combo guard from Makilala, North Cotabato drew a special assignment: stopping superstar guard Mark Caguioa.
And while Simon scored just four points, he hounded Caguioa to the worst game of the conference. The Ginebra main man was limited to only three points, all of which came on free throws as he missed all 12 of his field goal attempts.
Simonâ€™s sacrifice anchored B-MEGâ€™s defensive mindset all game long as the Llamados drubbed the Gin Kings, 82-70, for their ninth win in the PBA Governorsâ€™ Cup.
â€śYouâ€™re not a smart coach if you donâ€™t figure out a way how to stop Mark Caguioa,â€ť B-MEG coach Tim Cone said after the game. â€śYou canâ€™t play Caguioa without making him a priority.
â€śWe decided to match up PJ on Mark and PJ worked hard, sacrificed his offense to defend Caguioa.â€ť
It was the second time this conference that Caguioa didnâ€™t finish in double-figures in scoring. He was held to only eight points in the Gin Kingsâ€™ first game against the Llamados.
Simon, however, said he wasnâ€™t along in taking Caguioaâ€™s rhythm out of the game.
â€śTinutulungan naman ako ng mga teammates ko. We worked extra hard defending the pick-and-roll, kasi ganun ginagawa ng Ginebra. Kaya ang ginagawa namin, kapag may pick and roll, we were trapping Mark,â€ť he said.
But the Llamados didnâ€™t practice those defensive schemes in practice, according to Cone.
â€śWe didnâ€™t practice it yesterday. We rested our bodies after a tiring game against Meralco. But we spent time viewing the tapes and preparing our defensive mindset against Ginebra.â€ť
It was therefore up to Simon and the rest of the team to apply that in the game, which they did.
Cone sees Simon as more than a one-dimensional player, but a player who can work both ends of the floor.
â€śPJ can be an excellent defender if he wants to,â€ť Cone told InterAKTV. â€śOf course, itâ€™s difficult to do that every game.â€ť
Simon attributed his improvement on defense to his coach.
â€śHeâ€™s a defensive-minded coach. Akala nung iba triangle offense lang talaga ang focus ni Coach Tim, but he always emphasize players to play defense,â€ť said Simon.
â€śSabi niya sa akin, pwede kaming magsabay ni James (Yap) as long as we play defense. Dati, reliever ako ni James and ang purpose ko is to provide scoring coming off the bench.â€ť
Source: Rey Joble, InterAKTV
Last edited by supr3mo on Sun Jul 15, 2012 10:16 pm; edited 1 time in total