Vic Manuel and Chris Ross went down with injuries, but the San Miguel Beermen kept fighting with their champion’s heart and outfought the Magnolia Hotshots, 87-81, to preserve their unbeaten run in the PBA Philippine Cup at the Ynares Center in Antipolo Friday night.
Already minus Manuel and Ross for the most part of the game, the Beermen also had to deal with Magnolia’s tough defense on June Mar Fajardo, but SMB survived, regaining solo pole spot with a third straight win.
The Hotshots, meanwhile, dropped to 1-3, unable to pounce on opportunities at endgame, with Calvin Abueva missing crucial free throws and committing an offensive foul.
“We survived and I’m happy. We’d never had this 3-0 start in the past few years. Minsan nga pasang awa pa para mag-qualify sa quarterfinals,” said San Miguel coach Leo Austria.
He’s hoping the injuries of Manuel and Ross aren’t serious so that they can come back right away and help the team fuel their dream of regaining the league’s crown jewel.
With Manuel and Ross hit by injuries, Moala Tautuaa led the brigade that stepped up, helping the Beermen to win No. 3 after earlier triumphs over Phoenix Super LPG (108-100) and NLEX (100-92).