‘Walang bigayan’: Expect all-out war between sister teams Magnolia, San Miguel
MANILA, Philippines—Players, coaches and officials of sister teams San Miguel Beer and Magnolia dismissed any notion that they will just give way to one another in their PBA Philippine Cup Finals rematch.
The two sides assured neither will give an inch in the best-of-seven series.
“That will never be a problem. They each have contracts of their own and bonus,” said Magnolia team governor Rene Pardo during the 2019 Philippine Cup press conference.
But more than the grand financial incentive to capturing the championship, it’s winning over everything.
“Nung nag-start ako maglaro ng basketball, ice tubig lang nakikipagpatayan ako. Ngayon pa kaya na mas malaki. Pero nag-usap nga kami ni Paul, hindi yung bonus eh. Yung pride pinaglalaban,” said Magnolia forward Marc Pingris, referring to his teammate Paul Lee.
(When I started playing basketball, I go all out just to get free ice water after every game what more now that we’re playing for something much bigger. But Paul and I talked and it’s not about the bonus. It’s pride.)
“Walang bigayan to. Siyempre gusto namin manalo. Nandito kami para manalo at makakuha ng championship. Hindi naman habang buhay maglalaro ng basketball. Chance namin manalo ng championship and hindi na babalik yung moment na ‘to eh. Iba na naman next year,” said San Miguel center June Mar Fajardo.
(No team is giving the other anything. We want to win and we’re here to win the championship. We’re not going to play basketball forever and we have a chance now to win a championship. This moment isn’t going to happen again, it’s going to be different next year.)
Both teams expect a highly-physical series.
“Regarding sa bigayan, magbibigayan sila pagdating ng laro, nagbibigayan ng siko, nagtitirahan,” SMB head coach Leo Austria said with a chuckle.
(The only giving that’s going to happen in the finals is the players trading elbows during the games.)
Game 1 of a best-of-seven tips off Wednesday, 7 p.m., at Araneta Coliseum with the Beermen eyeing a historic fifth straight Philippine Cup crown.
The Hotshots, on the other hand, want payback after losing to the Beermen in last year’s finals in five games.
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