THERE’s no room for complacency against a great champion team like San Miguel.
Although Magnolia got away with an 86-82 win over the Beermen in Game 3 of the PBA Philippine Cup finals, Mark Barroca said the many comebacks SMB nearly completed in Game Three should be warning enough to keep the Hotshots on their toes.
Barroca said the Hotshots need to be on alert the entire 48 minutes if they are to survive the Beermen and the best-of-seven series.
“Nainis nga kami nung huli, kasi up kami ng seven or eight, akala namin panalo na kami,” he said. “Dapat hindi ka maging kampante. Hangga’t hindi pa nagba-buzzer. Yung heart talaga nila hangga’t hindi pa nagba-buzzer, parang may chance pa talaga sila.”
Barroca’s fears are warranted.
Up by nine with 2:45 left, Magnolia saw the lead whittled down to just 82-79 with 17 seconds left after Alex Cabagnot hit a three-pointer that went in after bouncing off the back rim.
Good thing, Barroca sank four consecutive free throws that doused cold water on San Miguel’s rally and give Magnolia a 2-1 lead in the series.
Barroca finished with 22 points on 6-of-10 shooting from the floor and 8-of-9 from the foul line. He added three rebounds and three assists.
The win doesn’t stop him however, from repeatedly reminding the Hotshots to always be wary of the mighty Beermen.
“Grabe itong team na ito,” he said of the four-time reigning champion. “Kaya kami dapat next game hangga’t hind pa tapos yung game, yung depensa namin dapat andun pa rin.”