The San Miguel Beermen is scheduled for a head-to-head game against the Kia Picanto at 4:30 P.M. on February 23, 2018 live from the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
A commanding eight victories and a solo ownership of the top spot of the 2017-18 PBA Philippine Cup standings is what the Beermen aiming for this afternoon while the Picanto will try to orchestrate a spoiler when PBA resumes.
Apart from the twice-to-beat prize, ending as the number one team in the tournament also have other perks as the Quarterfinals of the All-Filipino draw nearer.
“Of course, ang target namin talaga is a top two (finish) kasi mas maganda if you need to win only once at pasok ka na sa semifinals,” said Austria.
“Pero mas maganda kung No. 1 ka dahil iba ang confidence boost na maibibigay sa iyo noon, something na magagamit mong pangdagdag momentum sa playoffs,” he added.
San Miguel wanted to make a much needed separation from teams like Alaska, NLEX, Magnolia and even from Rain or Shine as those squads are within striking distance.
Without June Mar Fajardo and Alex Cabagnot, Kia have an opportunity to make an upset. As what other coaches described Kia Picanto, they’re a dangerous team and dangerous. They have already proven it when they beat Rain or Shine Elasto Painters early this season.
This game will also mark as the first encounter of Ronald Tubid, Rashawn McCarthy and Jay-R Reyes against their former team. These players were sent to Kia in exchange for the rights to draft the number one pick of the 2017 PBA Rookie Draft which turned out to be Christian Standhardinger.
Standhardinger is still playing with the Hong Kong Red Lions in the ASEAN Basketball League and will only be available most likely in the 2018 PBA Commissioner’s Cup.