Being the eliminations topnotcher and gaining a relatively easy passage into the semi-finals do not give Phoenix Pulse too much comfort.
Especially when next up for the Fuel Masters is a San Miguel Beer side driven by its all-consuming desire to stretch its PBA Philippine Cup dominance.
“Four-time defending champion,” said Phoenix coach Louie Alas on the eve of the start of the best-of-seven duel Saturday at the Mall of Asia Arena.
“Facing SMB is like facing the national champion. Ganu’n sila kabigat… at kalalim,” added Alas.
Actually, the Fuel Masters are not bad themselves.
Phoenix got off to a 5-0 start in the season-opening tourney before using SMB as final stepping stone to top the elims, winning their encounter in Panabo City 96-93 last March 16.