Magnolia prevented a repeat of last year’s Philippine Cup Finals outcome by winning Game 3 and taking a 2-1 series lead against defending champion San Miguel, title-holder of the last 4 stagings of the all Filipino conference.
The victory meant that the earliest the Beermen could win the series is in 6 games, unlike the previous year where they defeated the Hotshots in 5.
June Mar Fajardo bared that Beermen are ready to go into battle and are confident of equalizing the series once again.
“Positive kami na kaya namin gawin yan na 2-2,” said the 5-time league MVP.
SMB team captain Arwind Santos echoed Fajardo’s sentiment.
“Ita-tie lang namin yan. Sisiguraduhin namin na mananalo kami ng Game 4. Tapos best-of-three ang usapan.”
The Hotshots won Games 1 and 3 on the strength of their stingy defense, limiting their powerhouse opponent to less than 100 points. Aside from holding them down to 82 points in Game 3, the Hotshots dominated by boards by out-rebounding the taller Beermen 71-46, something that Fajardo hopes to remedy in their next meeting.
“Pinahihirapan nila akong kumuha ng rebounds kasi ang daming katawan ang inilalagay nila sa akin. Kailangan din namin mag-gang rebound kagaya ng ginagawa nila,” said the 6-foot-10 Cebuano.
Game 4 is on Wednesday, May 8, 7:00pm at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.