by Waylon Galvez
The hardest part in a payoff showdown is closing it out a series, particularly when playing on the road and coming off a heartbreaking defeat.
The San Juan Knights endured all of those to edge host squad Davao Occidental Tigers and rule the MPBL Datu Cup recently at the Rizal College Memorial Gym.
And the Knights attributed their win to the great motivation of coach Randy Alcantara.
“Masakit sa amin yung talo sa Game 4 sa home court namin… pero sabi nga ng coaches, mas masakit sa Davao kung dun kami mananalo,” said John Wilson during yesterday’s PSA Forum at the Amelie Hotel in Manila.
“Mas masarap yung pinag-hihirapan, kesa sa madali,” added Wilson.
MPBL Commissioner Kenneth Duremdes, a former MVP in the PBA, boasted the large crowd as the testament that the league is doing well.
“This is one of the most exciting finals na nakita ko ever, even nung naglalaro pa ako,” said Duremdes. “Being there watching it, iba itong nakita natin kasi you never know sino mananalo until that last shot.”
“Dun makikita yung type of players and teams (MPBL has). For us MPBL, napaka-gandang feeling na mabigayan natin ang mga basketball fans ng magandang series,” added Duremdes.
Alcantara said he never doubted his players as they responded to his challenge after dropping a 77-66 decision in Game 4 at the Filoil Arena in San Juan, which sent the series to a winner-take-all encounter.
According to Alcantara, even when his team was down by seven points in the last two minutes, all he did was to encourage his players.