Powerhouse San Miguel Beer finds itself in a familiar—yet uncomfortable—situation against Rain or Shine in their best-of-five semifinals series in the 2016 PBA Commissioner’s Cup following a 96-98 setback in Game 2 on Tuesday night at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
But veteran playmaker Alex Cabagnot isn’t losing hope, confident the Beermen have what it takes to pull off another big comeback from a 0-2 series deficit against the formidable Elasto Painters.
“We’re gonna use that as a reference,” the 6-foot Cabagnot, 33, told sports scribes after emerging from their dugout, referring to San Miguel Beer’s incredible fightback from a 0-3 finals series deficit against Alaska by winning the next four games to retain the Philippine Cup title last February.
“Mga experience naman na ganu’n, its something you can cherish and use in times like these,” he added.
Hounded by his Elasto Painters counterparts all-game long, Cabagnot struggled from the field majority of the way, making just three of his 12 attempts from the field as he finished with 13 points on top of three steals and a rebound in more than 30 minutes of action.
Cabagnot, however, came to life in the fourth, knocking down nine markers, highlighted by back-to-back triples that trimmed what once stood a 13-point cushion to just two at 93-95 with 34.1 seconds left.
But the Elasto Painters held their nerves, thanks to Paul Lee’s clutch three freebies in the waning moments that sealed the deal.
Although their backs are against the wall going to an all-important Game 3 on Thursday at the PhilSports Arena in Pasig City, Cabagnot is confident that they can bounce back and pump life to what’s now becoming a sagging bid for a Grand Slam.
“It’s just unfortunate and, God willing, it’s a best-of-five and not a best-of-three. We still have a game on Thursday. Sana matured ang mga prayers namin tonight and tomorrow,” he said.
“We gotta go and analyze what’s on the video. Definitely, I might say some stuff that’s probably wrong kasi I haven’t seen the video. Hopefully, we can make some adjustments to pull off a win on Thursday,” added Cabagnot. – By Jerome Lagunzad
Follow this writer on Twitter: @JLFoxSports