Beermen and Hotshots brace for Game 7 grind

San Miguel Beermen

PBA’s best-of-seven of the Philippine Cup finals series amongst defending champions San Miguel Beermen and Magnolia Hotshots Pambansang Manok goes to a crucial decisive Game Seven on Wednesday with both team’s expectant of a grind and a match demanding only their best.

Strained when the Beermen took Game Six, 98-86 the previous Sunday to level the series, San Miguel coach Leo Austria stated they are thankful to have been allowed to tie the series and have themselves a chance to retain their title, which has been in their hold for the last four years.

“We are very thankful to be able to level the series. I think key for us in this game was our defense. Hopefully we can continue it in the rubber match,” stated Mr. Austria after the intense Game Six.

The coach added they are in high spirits about their chances in Game Seven but acknowledges that Magnolia would come in prepared and ready to battle.

“It would take a lot preparation and hard work for us heading into Game Seven because we all know Magnolia is used to grind-out games. They continue to hustle and play tough no matter what,” he added.

Mr. Austria added a good sign for them was that earlier struggling Marcio Lassiter decisively found his shots last time around. Mr. Lassiter had his best game in a while in Game Six, finishing with 20 points on 50% shooting (7-of-14) to go along with seven rebounds.

Lassiter’s solid game accompanied with efforts of June Mar Fajardo (23 points and 18 rebounds) and Chris Ross (17 points and six assists) to help their team to the victory.

“Hopefully Marcio gets his consistency. He’s still not there but his working his way to form. We all know how important he is to our team. We hope this game would boost his confidence going into the rubber match,” added Coach. Austria.

Although they missed out on the opportunity to close things out in Game Six, Magnolia coach Chito Victolero stated they are still optimistic of getting the job done in Game Seven.

“Despite the loss I still give credit to my players for they never gave up. We had our chances but I guess the game was really for San Miguel because they hit big shots that helped their cause. But we will review the tape and see what we can improve on,” Mr. Victolero noted.

Guard Jio Jalalon in Game Six, top-scored for the Hotshots with 17 points with Ian Sangalang tallying 14. Mr. Victolero went on to say that Game Seven should be a fun one for the entire PBA as the two teams could only be anticipated to give their all.

Game Seven of the PBA Philippine Cup finals happens live on Wednesday at 7 p.m. at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

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