There will be no love lost between the two best Kapampangan players in the PBA today when the San Miguel Beermen and Alaska Aces face each other for the final time this conference on Wednesday in Game 7 of the PBA Philippine Cup Finals.
Calvin Abueva and Arwind Santos, who both hail from Angeles City, Pampanga went at each other in the closing moments of Game 6 which the Beermen won, 100-89, setting the stage for an epic finale to this roller-coaster series.
Both players were given technical fouls, but Abueva got the raw end of the deal as he got ejected for incurring his second technical foul in the heated Game 6.
“Physicality is a given, but I got carried away by my emotions,” Abueva told FOX Sports in Filipino on Saturday night.
“In Game 7, we’ll find out who’s tougher,” he added. “We will pour out everything we have.”
Santos, meanwhile, doesn't want to lose focus and hopes to avoid getting into trouble again with Abueva's antics on the court.
“I don’t know why he did that when the game is already almost over,” he said. “Maybe it was because of frustration. But in Game 7, we will bring out everything.”
The Aces have been pushed to the edge of a monumental collapse after racing to a 3-0 start in the series.
“There will always be pressure,” Abueva admitted. “But we’re going to show them that we won’t back down from any challenge.”
With June Mar Fajardo back in harness, the Beermen looked every inch the heavy favorite to win it all and complete the biggest comeback in the PBA history.
“In Game 7, our past games won’t matter anymore. It’s really do-or-die. It’s up to the Lord to whom He will give the victory,” Abueva added.
The Beermen, on the other hand, are knocking on the door of greatness. No other basketball team in the league or the NBA has come back to win a best-of-seven series after falling to a 0-3 deficit.