San Miguel hoping for 'beer-acle' encore | Inquirer Sports

San Miguel hoping for ‘beer-acle’ encore

/ 03:42 PM April 29, 2016

San Miguel Beermen. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/

San Miguel Beermen. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/

Will there be another “beer-acle” run?

San Miguel likes to think so. The Beermen also found themselves back in a familiar place where their historic run last conference started.


Back at Philsports Arena in Pasig, where they won the first of four straight games in the Philippine Cup Finals, the Beermen fanned their finals hopes after extending their best-of-five semifinals series against Rain or Shine with a gritty 104-98 victory on Thursday.


“I hope na ito yung magiging rallying point for them. When we’re 0-3, this was the venue. I hope na mag-continue, but we’re looking at it one game at a time,” said SMB head coach Leo Austria.

Facing a 0-3 hole, the Beermen delivered the greatest playoff comeback in PBA history to shock Alaska.

With that in mind, San Miguel is hoping to do the same as it tries to overcome a 0-2 deficit against Rain or Shine.

“Sana magawa ulit namin para maibalik naman namin yung ngiti ng management at ng mga fans namin,” said SMB forward Arwind Santos, who came up with a series-best performance of 18 points and seven rebounds. “It’s the same sa tinitingnan namin sa Finals against Alaska. Isang motivation sa amin yun na kung nagawa namin ng apat na sunod, bakit hindi namin magagawa yung tatlong sunod?”

Santos’ teammate Chris Ross thinks Games 1 and 2, where the Beermen lost by only eight points combined, could’ve easily gone to their favor had they played better in the endgame. 

“The first few games could have gone either way. We felt Games 1 and 2, we could have won and we should have won. We’re up by 19 in Game 1, and we felt we should have won Game 2 but we didn’t made plays in the end,” said Ross, who was the Finals MVP of his team’s improbable championship run last conference.


“We really didn’t want to get swept. Luckily, it’s a five-game series and if we win on Sunday, it’s a tied ball-game, winner-take-all.”

June Mar Fajardo, however, hopes the team doesn’t get too caught up with the storyline and, rather, come back with the same intensity for Game 4 as they did on Thursday.

“Di kami masyadong naniniwala sa pamahiin. Sinasabi namin kahapon sa practice na dito nag-start yung ‘beer-acle,’ pero kailangan lang talaga pagtrabahuan yun at doblehin pa yung kayod,” he said. “Down na kami ng 0-2, magpapa-apekto pa ba kami? Baka ikasama pa ng team lalo. Yung nangyari, ginawa na lang namin as inspiration para maglaro ng mabuti at pagsipagan pa namin. Alam naman namin na walang imposible at kaya namin basta magtulungan.”

The Beermen survived the sudden departure of Tyler Wilkerson and on Sunday, they will parade the returning AZ Reid as replacement to boost their bid.

Reid knows what it takes to win a championship having led San Miguel Beer to a title in the Governors’ Cup last season.

“We’re gonna put everything in on Sunday. We’re going to get AZ in here and he knows how we play,” said Ross.

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“Kung naniniwala pa rin kami, wala namang imposible basta’t gugustuhin namin. Nagtitiwala kami sa isa’t isa at naniniwala kami sa Diyos, kaya sama magawa namin at makabalik kami,” Santos said.

TAGS: 2016 Commissioner's Cup, Alaska Aces, Arwind Santos, AZ Reid, Beeracle, Chris Ross, PBA, San Miguel Beermen, Semifinals

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