THERE’s always a first time for everything.
San Miguel Beer is clinging to that notion as the Beermen seek to etch themselves in sports history by becoming the first team in the PBA to overcome a 3-0 deficit in a best-of-seven series.
The Beermen made the first step by frustrating the Alaska Aces in Game Four, 110-1004, in overtime to avoid a sweep in their Philippine Cup Finals series.
That has sparked hope of doing the improbable.
“You can never know what will happen,” SMB coach Leo Austria said. “A miracle is just around the corner.”
No team in top-level basketball has climbed out of a deep 3-0 hole in a seven-game series.
Only the Boston Red Sox in baseball were the first team ever to overcome such deficit after outlasting the New York Yankees in seven games in the 2004 American League Championship Series – equivalent to a conference title.
The defending champion Beermen try to duplicate the unlikely feat and drag their series against the Aces further starting in Game Five on Wednesday night at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
Austria is hoping their hard-earned Game Four victory has tipped the momentum in their favor.
“I hope na 'yung momentum mapunta sa amin,” the champion coach said. “But we have to prepare hard for next game, because I’m sure they were embarrassed and they’re preparing for the big celebration.”
“At least they gave us some space to breathe,” he added. “Makakatulog na ako for a while.”
Austria reiterated the first three games in the series could’ve gone either way considering how they stayed within striking distance before folding.
“Kung medyo swerte kami, baka kami pa nga yung three-one ngayon eh,” Austria said.
But instead of thinking what could’ve been, the Beermen are now focusing on what could happen.