SAN Miguel Beer and Magnolia vowed to set their affinity aside as the sister squads face off in the PBA Philippine Cup Finals beginning on Friday night at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
The Beermen are gunning for a historic fourth straight all-Filipino title, and standing in the defending champions’ way are the Hotshots, a fellow SMC umbrella team that won’t give way to their sister team.
“I guarantee you, hindi namin ibibigay sa kanila on a silver platter ang championship,” Hotshots governor Rene Pardo said in the finals press launch on Wednesday. “We’re not just here for the experience.”
“Pareho namang Grand Slam team yan, parehong rich in tradition ang dalawang franchise, no one will give an inch, pareho gustong manalo,” he added as both teams are in the running for a second Grand Slam in their respective franchise histories.
SMB counterpart Robert Non echoed Pardo’s words, stressing the Beermen are keen on sustaining their winning culture – especially in their favorite conference, at the expense of their sister squad.
“Actually, talagang pinaghahandaan namin ito mula all-Filipino, it is considered the most prestigious among the three conferences of the PBA. Ito, walang sister team-sister team,” the SMB governor said.
“Kumabga ang mga players na yan, ang nakataya diyan ay bonus,” he added with a chuckle. “Fight yan to the last talaga. Kung sino ang matirang matibay, congratulations.”
Non insisted the Beermen remain motivated to win a crown in the all-Filipino conference despite having already taken home the Perpetual Trophy after winning the tournament the last three seasons.
“We’re still hungry because we want to make history, and they all want to be part of the history in this team. Yun ang motivation sa kanila,” the SMB governor said.
“Of course, kahit anong phase ng basketball tournament, whether elims, quarter, semis, finals, expect them to give it their all,” he added. “So we expect that history will be written, starting this coming Friday.”
As long as both sides give their all and forget that they’re on the same conglomerate, it’s the fans who are going to be the real winners, Pardo assured.
“We just wish both teams good luck and sa mga fans ho, this will be sports entertainment at its best,” Pardo concluded.