Beermen eye 2-0 Finals lead | Inquirer Sports

Beermen eye 2-0 Finals lead

By: - Reporter / @cedelfptINQ
/ 12:00 AM February 26, 2017

Photo by Tristan Tamayo/

Photo by Tristan Tamayo/

A dominant victory in Game 1 wasn’t enough to calm San Miguel Beer’s nerves in the same way Barangay Ginebra won’t allow it to define the PBA Philippine Cup finals.

And as the Beermen shoot for a 2-0 lead at the Quezon Convention Center in Lucena City on Sunday night, San Miguel coach Leo Austria was quick to warn his charges of the consequences once they let their guard down.


“They can be down 0-1, 0-2, 0-3 it doesn’t matter,” said Austria as the Beermen shoot for a 2-0 advantage against the Gin Kings.


“There’s always a possibility that they can come back because we have proven that.”

The Beermen took the fight out of the Gin Kings—and their boisterous crowd—early on the way to a lopsided 109-82 victory in Game 1 at Mall of Asia Arena.

San Miguel’s starters showed the way with Chris Ross teaming up with Alex Cabagnot and June Mar Fajardo in the early surge, before reserves Ronald Tubid and Gabby Espinas made sure the Beermen maintained their double-digit advantage the rest of the way.

Ginebra coach Tim Cone remained defiant in the aftermath of the lopsided defeat, insisting that the loss only counted for one point in the series.

“It’s one game. There’s no pogi points in winning by forty or thirty points in a series,” Cone said. “It’s only about Ws and Ls, and they’re one game closer to a championship and we’re one game farther back. But again, it doesn’t matter if you lose by thirty or one point. It’s all the same.”

Austria is well aware how quickly a series can swing especially against the Gin Kings, who have somehow survived four do-or-die games in the early rounds of the playoffs.


San Miguel point guard Chris Ross also reminded his teammates what happened in Game 4 of the Governors’ Cup semifinals last year when they walloped the Gin Kings, 101-72, only to lose 92-117 in the deciding game.

Playing against a team known for its resilience, the Beermen hope to pounce on the Gin Kings early again just like in Game 1, where it roared to a 24-point lead, 33-9, in the opening period.

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“That’s the main goal, we just want to start every game fast and try to get the crowd out then sustain,” said Ross, who had 17 points in Game 1. “But we cannot get back to it. We just have to move forward and prepare.”

TAGS: Alex Cabagnot, Barangay Ginebra, Chris Ross, June Mar Fajardo, PBA Philippine Cup, San Miguel Beer

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