By Jonas Terrado
History could repeat itself for the Grand Slam-seeking San Miguel Beermen as they will have to hurdle the dreaded twice-to-beat disadvantage against Barangay Ginebra San Miguel in the PBA Governors’ Cup quarterfinals.
The Beermen suffered the consequence of an internal squabble that rocked the team over the weekend by finishing fifth in the eliminations following a loss to TNT KaTropa on Wednesday.
By going 2-5 after a 4-0 start along with the indefinite suspensions of Arwind Santos, Kelly Nabong and Ronald Tubid and the departure of import Dez Wells for their roles in a fight that marred Sunday’s practice, SMB is now on a slippery slope.
“Dito mate-test yung character namin,” said June Mar Fajardo as the Beermen prepare for the clash with Ginebra on Sunday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
The bitter memories of a failed Grand Slam bid from recent memory are still fresh in the mind for many.
SMB claimed the first two conferences of 2017, only to encounter import problems in the Governors’ Cup to finish sixth in the eliminations.
It didn’t take long before Ginebra put San Miguel’s Grand Slam ambitions to dust with a convincing win in the quarters.
Two years later, the Beermen are in a similar predicament. The only question now is the ending.
“It’s a harder road now, but we still have enough talent to do it so I’m still confident,” said import John Holland, who was initially tapped to fill-in for Wells, then dealing with an ankle injury.
But with Wells gone, Holland acknowledged that he has a bigger responsibility, though he is far from worried that the losses of the three players may hurt their chances of survival.
“I still think that no matter what team we play, we have a good chance. Now it’s just a little harder, we just need to win two games. It’s alright,” added Holland.