PHOENIX Petroleum-Far Eastern University (FEU) Coach Eric Gonzales knows this could be their best chance. So he encouraged his troop to push themselves to the limit and win one more time.
With a 2-1 lead over CafeFrance, the Accelerators could wrap up the best-of-five titular series and clinch the Philippine Basketball Association Developmental League Aspirants Cup on Tuesday.
“Tatapusin na namin kung kayang tapusin,” declared Gonzales after the Accelerators stunned the Bakers, 85-84, in Game Three on Roger Pogoy’s three-point shot at the buzzer.
Game Four is scheduled at 3 o’clock at the Filoil Flying V Arena in San Juan City. If necessary, Game Five will be on Thursday at the Ynares Arena in Pasig City.
With their confidence level at its peak and momentum on their side, the Accelarators should have little trouble putting away the Bakers and become the league’s newest toast.
Gonzales readily agrees, though, that winning two-in-a row against CafeFrance is easier said than done.
“Obviously we want to get it done. But we know nothing is going to come easy against [CafeFrance]. Their experience and character makes them a tough matchup. How well we play defense will make a difference. We also have to outworked them every quarters,” Gonzales said.
CafeFrance Coach Egay Macaraya admits losing Game Three was a big blow to their campaign to win back-to-back titles. Still, he remains optimistic about his chargers’ ability to bounce back.
“We’ve gone through these many times before so I think we’ll survive this one, too. This kind of situation brings out the best from my players,” Macaraya said.
Cafe France had a chance to win Game 3 when Bryan Cruz went to the line with 17 seconds left. Then the worse thing happened. The 6-4 starting center missed both free throws that led to Pogoy’s winning shot.