AROUND this time last season, San Mig Coffee (then known as B-Meg) was the top-seeded ball club in the PBA Philippine Cup and held a twice-to-beat advantage heading into the quarterfinals against eighth-seeded Powerade.
What unfolded next went down as one of the biggest upsets in the league. The team, then known as the Llamados, was ousted by scoring sensation Gary David and the scrappy Tigers, making them just the third top-seeded squad to get eliminated in the first round of the playoffs.
“They know about that (loss to Powerade last season) already. It’s in their (players) minds," San Mig Coffee coach Tim Cone told Spin.ph on Monday just before conducting the Mixers' practice at the Ronac gym in San Juan.
"The wound was so deep that it now brings a lot of motivation to our team heading to the playoffs.”
Wiser and with more experience, the Mixers do not want to repeat the same mistake as they head to the Philippine Cup playoffs as the second-ranked team with a twice-to-beat advantage against seventh-ranked Petron.
Cone has yearned to go for a quick "knockout," mindful of how dangerous it would be to allow a deeply talented but dysfunctional Petron team have any form of momentum in the playoffs.
“We know it’s gonna be a tough road to the Finals. And that’s the reward we get for being the No. 2 seed, face Petron," Cone laughed. "But again, we just can’t walk on the floor and expect to beat Petron.”
San Mig prevailed, 90-84 in its only game against Petron so far this season.