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The Coaches' Opinions: Are the Beermen still the Favorites?

Photo by the PBA Media Bureau

As teams prepare for Game 3, two PBA coaches have their says

Game 1 went to the Magnolia Hotshots.
Game 2 went to the San Miguel Beermen.

This best-of-7 championship series between two proud and successful franchises in the PBA is now tied at 1-1 with a Game 3 coming their way this Easter Sunday. With the way the Beermen made it back to the Philippine Cup finals, only losing once in the semifinals against the Barangay Ginebra Gin Kings, many people that San Miguel would sweep the Hotshots owing to their overall advantage in almost every aspect whether it's experience or firepower.

With the Beermen and the Hotshots splitting the first two games of the series, one question still looms around: is San Miguel still the undisputed favorites to win it all this time around? Two PBA coaches have their says.

For Coach Louie Alas of the Phoenix Fuel Masters, he won't be surprised at all if the Beermen will win the next two games assuming that they take Game 3. In addition to this, Alas is among those coaches who think that the Holy Week break will benefit the Beermen more than the Hotshots because of the fact that Leo Austria plays a short rotation. In fact, the week-long break will benefit San Miguel guard Chris Ross who has been playing despite his thigh injury because this will allow the two-time Finals MVP to have longer rest and preparation time for Game 3.

However, Louie Alas isn't ruling out an upset from the Hotshots, either. With Magnolia's pressure defense that has been bothering the Beermen in the first two games of the series, the Hotshots may be able to finally wear down June Mar Fajardo and the rest of the league's best all-Filipino starting unit. But that's easier said than done, right?

In the end, Louie Alas also concluded that in the first two games, San Miguel has been the more dominant team as evident by their capability to build a double-digit lead in just a snap. They had been reminding Magnolia that the Beermen are the kings of the Philippine Cup.

On the other side of the fence, Yeng Guiao of the NLEX Road Warriors who bowed down to the Hotshots in  6 games during the semifinals, thought the long break won't make a difference to either team. Why? According to Guiao, San Miguel is the favorite whether this series goes down to a Game 7 or not because he believes that the longer the series becomes, the better for the Beermen. The only thing that would make a huge impact for either team is any unwanted injuries.


Conclusion

Frankly, both Louie Alas and Yeng Guiao are right in saying that San Miguel is the better team in this series that's why they're also the favorites to win their 4th consecutive all-Filipino championship. Magnolia may try to wear down the Beermen with their nagging pressure defense but the fact that San Miguel has more firepower and championship experience than Magnolia, the chances of an upset is low but again, it's not impossible, either.

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