Simon Enciso's timely outburst Friday set the stage for the first game of his PBA career.
Enciso converted 6 of 11 shots from beyond the three-point line for a league-high 20 points in San Miguel Beermen's 114-96 win over TNT Tropang Giga in Game 6 of the 2022 Philippine Cup Finals at Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Enciso, 31, doesn't see inexperience in big games like this as a factor, noting his desire to win a championship.
"I think so," Enciso said when asked if Sunday will be his first-ever Game 7 finals appearance." With Alaska and Talk 'N Text, we made it to the finals, and we lost in the final six both times."
"I think every game is important," Enciso said after the game." I play every day like it's a seventh game. My effort will always be there. I'm just trying to control what I can control. I'll do the same thing on Sunday."
"Whether it's shooting or scoring, it's going to be the same effort every time. I don't think that's going to be a huge factor (inexperience in Game 7). I'm not really thinking about that. I'm just thinking about the team and what I can do to help them win," Enciso said.
The seven-year veteran caught fire in the second quarter, scoring 17 points to give San Miguel a 63-50 lead at halftime. He teamed up with Marcio Lassiter, who also had an exciting night as he also made six 3-pointers and scored 22 points in the blowout win.
Enciso said he was excited to work with Lassiter on the perimeter.
"I told him it was huge, both of us going crazy from the 3-point line. It's kind of hard to beat a team with two shooters going crazy." Enciso said.
More important than the offense was the defensive effort of the entire team, especially the pressure on Mitch Williams, who scored only two points, and only Roger Pogoy was the only player from TNT to contribute significantly.
"That's what we want and we still try to fight for that main goal and that's the championship. Really happy for my teammates. We all played really well. It was a team effort. And I'm even happier that we played a great game defensively. That's what coach trained us on in the last practice. And we just came out and executed. I'm super proud of my teammates for playing great defense," Enciso said.
"Shout out to Marcio, who also played a hell of a game, especially on the defensive end. When Pogoy goes crazy like that, it's hard to stop him. Shout out to Marcio on the defensive end as well," Enciso said.
This performance gives Enciso a chance to win his first PBA title, but it may take another similar performance to achieve that milestone. Enciso doesn't expect it to be easy.
"It's going to be a bad fight. Game 7 is always a big game. The winner goes home. Whoever wants it more is going to win. That's what we're going to do - come out, execute our game plan, and we're going to want to win more than they do." Enciso said.