MANILA, Philippines – The feeling is mutual.
Arwind Santos said San Miguel also does not want to tangle with Barangay Ginebra early in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup playoffs after Tim Cone bared the Gin Kings are trying to avoid a quarterfinal pairing with the Beermen.
“We don’t want to face them as well. It’s just balanced. As much as possible, if we’ll play each other, I hope it’s in the finals,” said Santos in a mix of Filipino and English after their 128-108 rout of Phoenix on Wednesday, July 10.
There is a likely chance of that happening, though, considering San Miguel is now at 7th place behind a 4-5 slate with two assignments left in the elimination round.
Ginebra, meanwhile, carries a 6-4 record and is currently tied with Blackwater at 3rd place with one elimination round game remaining.
While anything can still happen in the playoff race, Santos said they will not underestimate any team.
“We don’t feel that we can easily get past our opponents. We respect all teams. That’s why we need to prepare hard.”
On the other hand, Santos expressed trust on the Beermen as they have won back-to-back games with new import Chris McCullough.
“I think that if we continue what we’re doing in our remaining games, we can maintain this until the end. We’ll be surprised we’re already in the finals.”
San Miguel can crack the top 6 – which would mean avoiding a twice-to-beat disadvantage in the quarterfinals – if it defeats Rain or Shine (5-5) in their out-of-town clash in Cagayan de Oro City on Saturday, July 13.
“It’s better to play in a best-of-three. Whichever team we face, we’re confident that we can advance.” – Rappler.com