Frustration inside San Miguel Beer’s camp reached its boiling point on Tuesday night when import Tyler Wilkerson immediately left the Beermen’s dugout, visibly disgusted following a 96-98 loss dealt by Rain or Shine in Game 2 of their best-of-five PBA Commissioner’s Cup at the Smart-Araneta Colisem.
The 6-foot-8 Wilkerson had another all-around performance of 35 points anchored on 11-of-25 shooting from the field on top of 18 rebounds, five assists and two blocks against five errors in nearly 47 minutes of play but still could not prevent San Miguel Beer from falling into a 0-2 series hole, leaving its Grand Slam hopes in jeopardy.
Already expressing his frustration to San Miguel Beer team manager Gee Abanilla during a timeout midway in the fourth canto when they trailed by as many as 12 points, Wilkerson couldn’t control his emotion at the end as he stormed out of their dug-out and never participated in their post-match briefing.
“Take me back to America. I don’t wanna come back anymore,” said Wilkerson, as quoted by a witness, as he made his way out of the Big Dome’s lobby.
Beermen assistant coach Dayong Mendoza tried to serve as a pacifier but Wilkerson refused to heed his call of returning back to the locker room.
Except for San Miguel Beer guard Alex Cabagnot, the rest of the Beermen, including coach Leo Austria, declined to grant any interview from sports scribes.
It is not yet known if San Miguel Beer will still utilize Wilkerson when it takes on Rain or Shine anew in a crucial Game 3 set on Thursday at the PhilSports Arena in Pasig City, with the Beermen facing a must-win situation. – By Jerome Lagunzad
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