by Jonas Terrado
Game Today (Smart Araneta Coliseum)
7 p.m. — San Miguel vs Phoenix Pulse
(San Miguel leads series 1-0)
Treachery in the face of complacency, San Miguel forward Arwind Santos believes, is what the Beermen will have to guard against in Game 2.
SMB expects a higher-octane challenge from Phoenix Pulse today when it tries to make it two in a row in their PBA Philippine Cup semifinals at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
The defending five-time champion Beermen look to enter the 7 p.m. match with no letup as they aim for a pivotal edge over the top-seeded Fuel Masters in the best-of-seven series before the Holy Week break.
Playing true to form, SMB displayed championship poise in the opener last Saturday at the Mall of Asia Arena, beating Phoenix, 100-88.
Santos, however, cautioned against letting their guards down against the Fuel Masters, who cut a 24-point deficit to seven in the fourth only to fall short.
“Kung baga pinatikim lang kami pero di namin masasabi na baka sa susunod pwede na kaming lasunin, pwede kaming biglang yariin na lang ng nakatalikod,” Santos said.
“Kaya kailangan wag kaming kukurap sa kanila kasi di natin masabi kasi yung team nila killer din eh. Pag nag-relax ka sa kanila, pwede ka nilang talunin ng basta-basta (We can’t be complacent because they are also a killer team. If we relax against them, they can’t beat us easily),” he added.
June Mar Fajardo is expected to play with nary a trouble despite a hard fall in the second quarter that saw him land face first into the floor.
Fajardo is bracing for another stingy defense from Phoenix, which rued its lack of defensive effort in Game 1.
“If we will do the same thing na may span ng game na soft kami, before you knew it San Miguel will again build a double-digit lead,” said Phoenix coach Louie Alas. “We have to play our A-game defensively for 48 minutes.”