Extending dominant reign versus stretching breakthrough run.
That’s the compelling theme as San Miguel Beer and Meralco mix it up in their matchup kicking off the playoff phase of the PBA Philippine Cup bubble play at 4 p.m. Friday at the AUF Sports Center Powered by Smart 5G.
Corporate rivalry aside, SMB and Meralco are a pair to watch, with the Beermen pressing chase of a six-peat and the Bolts determined to compete and contend in their first all-Filipino playoffs in five seasons.
But pressure is heavy on Meralco’s side, being the lower seed needing to win two in a row to make the best-of-five semifinals.
Coach Norman Black said desire, determination and defense could well be their best weapons to pull the rug from under the fourth-seeded Beermen.
In their elims faceoff, the Bolts took care of business through the first three quarters only to sputter in the payoff period and succumb, 82-89.
“Obviously, we have to play good basketball,” said Black of their prospect of winning against the reigning Philippine Cup five-peat champs.