ALASKA Head Coach Alex Compton said that the pressure is with San Miguel Beer despite blowing three chances of winning the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) Philippine Cup crown.
“I think the pressure is on them. I don’t know how you guys see it, but that team was expected to win a Grand Slam, and now, they have to step up in Game Seven,” said Compton after losing Game Six, their third in a row after leading 3-0.
The Beermen and the Aces will meet for the final time on Wednesday at the Mall of Asia Arena.
San Miguel is trying to become the first professional basketball team to win after coming back from a 0-3 hole and win the best-of-seven series.
The defending champions forced a winner-take-all Game Seven following their 100-89 win in Game Six last Friday.
Unlike in Games Four and Five, where Compton complained of free throws and fouls disparity, the Alaska mentor admitted that San Miguel was very determined in extending the series.
“We got beat fair and square. I would like to commend Coach Leo [Austria]. He’s a good coach, he deserves credit. He’s doing a great job. They deserved to win,” said Compton, who was Austria’s assistant when the former handled the Welcoat team (now Rain or Shine) in 2010.
While the Beermen hold the momentum going to the pivotal contest, Compton said his Aces still like their chances of winning their 15th PBA title and first All-Filipino crown since 2000.
But they need to make the necessary adjustments, as Fajardo will be much healthier while San Miguel has regained its confidence in the series.
“I actually think that we’re gonna have some fun next Wednesday, but that’s just me,” Compton said.
Austria, on the other hand, wanted his players to be extra cautious as they have not achieved anything yet.
He believes that Game Seven will be 50-50, with neither team holding a clear-cut advantage.
“Anything can happen in Game Seven. Lahat ng stats sa previous games, tapon na ’yun,” said Austria, who is eyeing his third PBA title in his fourth conference in the league.