Meralco vs SMB preview
The Bolts square off against the Beermen at 3 p.m. at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum in their first out of two attempts to clinch a semifinal round.
This will be the first time that Meralco and San Miguel will face each other since the Bolts squandered a 26-point lead to drop a 113-110 decision over the Beermen. Shabazz Muhammad collected 57 points to pull off the come-from-behind win last March 5.
“We are going to need that against San Miguel,” said Meralco coach Norman Black, referring to the twice-to-beat advantage it garnered for the clash against San Miguel.
Meralco had a much-needed boost on Friday when it got a twice-to-beat edge in the quarterfinals with a 109-90 win over Phoenix to finish at No. 4 with a 7-4 win-loss slate and ending a three-game losing streak that included the loss to the Beermen.
Black said the victory was a confidence-builder heading into the contest against San Miguel.
“This was a big win for us. It helped us get the twice-to-beat but at the same time, it’s good to come off with a win going into the playoffs,” said Black.
The Beermen also finished the eliminations strong with a 7-4 win-loss slate, but only dropped to No. 5 due to an inferior quotient with TNT and Meralco.
San Miguel coach Leo Austria hopes that his players will be able to force another game in a do-or-die situation for the squad despite ending the eliminations with a two-game winning streak.
“Ang inaasahan sa amin ng mga tao is to at least get into the next round kaya kailangan talaga all-out kami dito,” said Austria.
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