After improbable PBA PH Cup Run, fan believes SMB can get Grand Slam
Snooky Morial hurried her way to Ortigas from work at Bonifacio Global City to meet her family and see their favorite team meet its diehard fans.
Morial, the 31-year-old mother of three who works at for a houskeeping service in Taguig, arrived four hours before the San Miguel Beermen’s meet and greet session at Robinsons Galleria started.
As early as she was, Morial didn’t even get the prime seats and it only took a couple more hours for hundreds of fans stood and crowd the mall’s activity area and its steel railings from the first floor up to the fourth.
Around 5 p.m., the event began with every member of the Beermen introduced from their practice players to superstar center June Mar Fajardo and the coaching staff.
Arwind Santos, the veteran forward, drew the loudest cheers and Chris Ross, who was named best player in the Finals series, was showered with MVP chants.
But it was a fan event for a reason.
The Beermen were applauded and admired once more for their monumental Philippine Cup conquest— the greatest comeback in the PBA’s rich history— but on Tuesday, the fans that rallied behind them, were recognized.
“You made the ‘Beeracle’ happen, not the players and coaches,” Austria tells the crowd.
“This is a chance to give back to our fans who never fail to support us and cheer for us. We want to make them happy after what they did for us,” SMB head coach Leo Austria told INQUIRER.net.
“We couldn’t have done this without you guys,” said Ross, one of Morial’s favorite players along with Marcio Lassiter, as he faces the thick crowd.
Like the Beermen, Morial said she and her husband never lost hope when the Alaska Aces had zoomed to a 3-0 lead.
“Hindi kami nawalan ng pagasa. Kahit minsan hindi. Basta naisip lang namin na lalaban sila ng lalaban. Nagdasal din kami na manalo sila,” Morial said.
The players took time to take selfies with the fans and sign autographs. They also gave away shirts, throwing them up and far as if they were delivering outlet passes.
Morial, who’s been a longtime SMB fan since the days of the league’s most prolific shooter in Allan Caidic, watched Games 1 and 5 of the Finals. She tried to catch Game 7 but wasn’t lucky enough to grab hold of a ticket.
After becoming the first team to overcome a 3-0 deficit in a best-of-seven series, Morial believes nothing is impossible for the Beermen. Not even getting a second Grand Slam.
“Makukuha nila ang Grand Slam. Lagi rin namin silang ipagdarasal na manalo para makuha nila ang Grand Slam.”