Pressure not on Phoenix with must-win games ahead–Topex
MANILA, Philippines—With Phoenix precariously holding on to the eighth spot in the 2021 PBA Philippine Cup, it faces must-win games over San Miguel and defending champion Barangay Ginebra.
Head coach Topex Robinson said that difficult as the games against the two giants are, the pressure isn’t on the Fuel Masters as they look to gain more than just the playoff berth.
“We know we’re up against tough teams but what doesn’t kill us will only make us better,” said Robinson following Phoenix’s dominant 114-92 win over hapless Blackwater Saturday at DHVSU Gym in Bacolor, Pampanga.
“So I guess the pressure is not on us, we just want to get better. No matter what happens, we want to learn and we want to give ourselves a chance. We have nothing to lose in these last two games so it’s a chance for us to get better and be stronger as a group.”
The Fuel Masters, after the win against the Bossing, improved to a 4-5 record but it can still change given the volatile nature of the PBA’s ladder as sitting at the ninth spot is Ginebra, which has a 3-4 card.
Even a win against the Beermen, who hold a 5-2 record at the third spot, is not enough for Phoenix to cement its place in the quarterfinals.
Nevertheless, Robinson’s men seem to be in the right mindset going into the final stages of the eliminations.
Captain Matthew Wright said the team is determined to give something back to their coaches who have been burning the midnight oil getting the team ready for the condensed schedule of the conference.
“Two big games coming up against Ginebra and San Miguel,” said Wright. “Two very winnable games and we’re very confident against those teams. We just want to to do right by the coaching staff because you they work tirelessly to prepare us for each game.”
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