On the clock: SMB's Grand Slam hopes are in big danger

Paul Lintag on Sep 25, 2017 11:45 AM
On the clock: SMB's Grand Slam hopes are in big danger
The Beermen have not been in so much trouble since being down 0-3 in the 2016 Philippine Cup Finals and their Grand Slam hopes are officially in jeopardy.

Technically, San Miguel didn't have a bad Governors' Cup.

The Beermen finished with a 7-4 record, a little low by their own lofty standards but still pretty good.

However, the bad thing is that four teams finished with a 7-4 record and San Miguel has the second-weakest quotient. A collapse against eventual no. 1 Meralco on Sunday didn't help either.

A victory by the Beermen would have put them at no. 1 or no. 2 depending on their final winning margin. Now, San Miguel is no. 6 with a matchup against defending champion Brgy. Ginebra in the quarterfinals.

The Gin Kings hold a twice-to-beat advantage and Ginebra is the last team to beat San Miguel in a playoff series.

The Beermen have not been in so much trouble since being down 0-3 in the 2016 Philippine Cup Finals and their Grand Slam hopes are officially in jeopardy.

They couldn't care less though, basically, all key pieces at San Miguel are still quite confident in the chances to complete the triple crown.

"We play our best when our backs are against the wall. When the cards are stacked against us, we play our best basketball," guard Chris Ross said.

"Maraming beses na nanyari samin ya. 0-3 kami, nanalo pa rin kami. This time we'll try again, we need two wins to get into the semis. Yung inaasam namin na mag-champion this conference, nandun pa rin naman," head coach Leo Austria added.

Without a shadow of a doubt, San Miguel has been the gold standard this season, the team in fact, has been the gold standard for the last three season.

The Beermen also have reasons to be confident against the Gin Kings, a team they beat in the Philippine Cup Finals, 4-1, and a team they beat in the elimination round of the Governors' Cup.

Ginebra, despite an 8-3 record, limped to the playoffs as well, losing two of its last three games including a 29-point beatdown at the hands of TNT in its last outing.

However, save for a rocky finish, the Gin Kings have been playing at a high level all throughout their title defense, at one point winning seven straight games.

It might be a little surprising to see San Miguel down for the count but the Beermen still have overwhelming confidence.

The Grand Slam is officially in jeopardy but it's not like the team is new to this kind of situation.

"Buo pa rin naman kumpyansa namin. Kaya pa naman yun [Grand Slam]. One game at a time lang," June Mar Fajardo said.

"I never lose confidence in my team. My team never loses confidence. We’re very confident going in no matter what matchup we’re going. We’re very confident. No pressure. It’s just basketball," Ross added.

 


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