SAN Miguel is just too good a team to commit the same mistake.
While Magnolia coach Chito Victolero lauded the effort of his team in another late comeback, he said the Hotshots can't expect to keep pulling off come-from-behind victories, especially against a solid team as the Beermen.
The Hotshots stared at a 71-50 deficit early in the second half before going on a scoring rampage at the start of the fourth to threaten the defending champions at 68-75, bringing back memories of a 105-103 win in Game One where they overhauled a 20-point SMB lead.
Victolero though knew the Beermen won’t simply fade away this time.
“Hindi naman puwedeng laging ganoon. Experienced na team 'yan, champion team ang San Miguel,” he pointed out after the Beermen held on for a 92-77 win in Game 2 of the PBA Philippine Cup Finals. “Yung character niyan buo.”
The Beermen did show poise in the face of the Hotshots’ searing run as Arwind Santos conspired with Marcio Lassiter and June Mar Fajardo in a telling 10-0 run that stretched their lead back to 85-68 with five minutes left.
“Kapag ganun lagi na maghahabol kami, hindi namin masu-sustain talaga,” admitted Victolero.
The Magnolia coach said the Hotshots’ can't allow the Beermen to keep putting them in big holes like in the first two games of the best-of-seven series.
“We’ll just try na ma-control yung pace ng laro. Kung anuman yung lalaruin namin sa fourth quarter, dapat from the start to finish ganun yung tema (ng laro namin),” said the former PBA player from Mapua. “I hope we learned from these last two games.”
There’s a silver lining after the loss, Victolero added.
“The good thing lang is tied yung series, and so it now boils down to a best-of-five (series),” Victolero said of the Finals that won’t resume until Easter Sunday for Game 3.