Hotshots don’t think so a wrap for Beermen?
MANILA, Philippines — San Miguel Beer is intent on coming out of this Valentine’s Day date with the ring. Magnolia is bent on gaining salvation on Ash Wednesday.
With all to play for, the title-seeking Beermen and the fighting-for-dear-life Hotshots clash in crucial Game 6 of the PBA Season 46 Commissioner’s Cup tonight at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
After blowing a 2-0 lead, SMB regained its swag via a 108-98 triumph in Sunday’s fifth match and put itself in position to wrap it all up in the 7:30 p.m. tiff.
Knowing how capable their dangerous rivals are in striking back and potentially stealing it with two in a row, coach Jorge Gallent and his troops have spent the last two days devising schemes to finish off Magnolia.
“The job’s not finished yet,” Jericho Cruz, who torched the Hotshots with eight triples and 30 points last match, said in describing the Beermen’s mentality amid a 3-2 lead.
“Every game is hard to win in the finals so we expect it to be a tough game. But we’ll be ready,” said import Bennie Boatwright.
Gallent, who is gunning for his first PBA championship and the franchise’s 29th overall, cautioned his charges against repeating the mistake they made after taking the first two games of the series. Magnolia countered with its own two-match streak to tie it up.
“It’s a matter of being confident but not overconfident. Maybe in Game 3 and Game 4 (losses), we were overconfident and it brought us down. Confidence is good but overconfidence is bad and that’s what happened to us in Games 3 and 4,” he said.
The embattled but unyielding Hotshots are looking at an encore of the pull-around performances that led to 88-80 and 96-85 victories that not only kept them alive before but also made it an even fight.
“Hindi kami dapat ma-down (after Game 5 loss). Nanggaling na kami sa 0-2, di ba? Ano pa ‘yung ika-kadown namin? Nanggaling na kami sa 0-2. Dalawang panalo na lang ‘yan. Di namin nakuha (third win in Game 5) so adjust na lang. Ganyan naman ang series,” said Magnolia’s Mark Barroca.
Foremost of such adjustment is getting the Tyler Bey-led Hotshots to stop SMB’s offensive onslaught. In the three games they lost, Chito Victolero’s troops allowed the Beermen