SAN Miguel Beer and Magnolia are leaving no stone unturned in their preparation for Game Three of the PBA Philippine Cup Finals that both teams will be practicing on some days in this Holy Week.
After the Beermen scored a 92-77 win on Sunday to tie the series at one game apiece, both teams took a break on Monday but are scheduled to sweat it out on either Maundy Thursday or Good Friday.
The Beermen will practice on Tuesday, Holy Wednesday and Maundy Thursday. SMB coach Leo Austria will probably give them another break on Good Friday before returning to training on Black Saturday on the eve of Game Three.
“Let's see how hard they work in practice, then maybe I will give them another day to reflect (on Good Friday), dahil it's Holy Week and baka magalit 'yung nagbibigay sa amin ng blessings, ano,” Austria said. “It's about time to praise God and reflect yourself ano, what's wrong and what's right.”
“Baka kailangan namin mag-prusisyon para 'yung blessing na ibinibigay namin, ibalik naman namin sa God almighty,” the Sariaya, Quezon native added. “Alam naman natin, Friday is the right time to reflect and know what is best and what is good for yourself, and for your friends and family.”
The Hotshots, on the other hand, are on a straight two-day break, but will be back to work on Holy Wednesday all the way to the series tiebreaker on Easter Sunday.
“We will be back on Wednesday to prepare for Game Three. Kailangan eh,” Hotshots coach Chito Victolero said. “Medyo dikit kasi sa Sunday so wala kaming magagawa dun, we need to practice on Good Friday.”
Still, the first-time finalist welcomed the short break after being stuck in a grueling semifinal schedule where they played every other day for three weeks.
“So mas magandang makapahinga yung mga players,” Victolero said. “Kalimutan muna yung basketball. Then ganun rin siguro kay San Miguel. Maganda ring break yun sa kanila. At least yung mga players kahit papaano makapahinga and then lumabas ulit yung laro nila.”
The Beermen are also benefiting from their break on Monday and Good Friday after Austria has been turning to his tight rotation to grind out wins.
“Eight players namin, nag-a-average ng at least 38 minutes per game, so we will be having ample time to recharge and strengthen, especially Chris Ross,” Austria said.