THE start of February has not been good for defending champion San Miguel Beer and the three other teams setting out today in the PBA Philippine Cup.
Already beaten by Talk ‘N Text last January 27, the Beermen hit a snag anew, falling in ambush to Rain or Shine last Feb. 1 in what was their first ever back-to-back losses in the elimination round of the kickoff conference in five years.
There’s no doubt that beating San Miguel remains everybody’s attention in the league, and three teams have achieved that goal, with the Columbian Dyip becoming the first to deal the supposedly invincible Beermen with defeat last Jan. 18.
Already, some players have expressed alarm over their campaign, although most of them are hoping they would be able to make up for their lackluster performances starting today in their game versus Blackwater.
“Hindi pa naman huli ang lahat,” Arwind Santos, one of the team’s top scorers, told online media.
“Magre-regroup kami kasi hindi maganda ’yung talo. Depensa daw. Tignan natin kung maaayos natin next game,” added the one-time MVP.
Also looking to make a big rebound is June Mar Fajardo, the reigning five-time MVP who took responsibility for the SMB’s two straight setback despite averaging 23 points.
“Kailangan kong bumawi at mag-bounce back,” said Fajardo, admitting he struggled in SMB’s last outings.
“Struggling ako. Ako ’yung tinitignan ng mga teammates ko, pero hindi ko sila na i-lift. Pag pangit ang laro ko, malaki ang chance talo kami,” added Fajardo.
The Beermen go up against the Elite in the 7 p.m. main offering of an interesting double-header that will also see Columbian Dyip collide with Alaska Milk in the 4:30 p.m. opening tussle at the Mall of Asia Arena.
Like the Beermen, the Elite, the Dyip and the Aces are coming off losses.
The Elite lost to Phoenix Pulse, 114-95, last Feb. 1, the Dyip were bumped off by Barangay Ginebra, 97-85, last Feb. 2, while the Aces lost to Rain or Shine last Feb. 3, 85-72.