Losing for the first time as a Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) import has not dampened the spirits of Bennie Boatwright, who vowed to help San Miguel Beer deliver a bounce-back in Game 4 and put a stranglehold on the Commissioner’s Cup Finals.
“You gonna lose, and it’s part of life. You win some, you lose some,” Boatwright said after the Beermen’s 88-80 loss two nights prior at Smart Araneta Coliseum allowed the Magnolia Hotshots to reduce their deficit to 2-1 in the championship series.
San Miguel came in unbeaten in nine games since Boatwright debuted on Christmas Day to lead an incredible run to the Finals of Season 48’s only import-laden conference.
But streaks are often bound to end and Boatwright had to endure a resolute Magnolia defense that turned the contest into a grind out affair instead of an offensive contest that was the complexion of the previous two games that San Miguel won.
Boatwright also tipped his hat to his Magnolia counterpart Tyler Bey, who took the role of defending his former foe in the US NCAA when their schools were playing in the Pac-12 conference.
“He played well today,” said Boatwright of Bey. “They had a good defensive scheme against me and they kept pressuring me. Now it’s about watching film and getting better.”
Boatwright finished with 27 points on 10-of-28 shooting with 13 rebounds and a conference-high three steals, numbers that he had to work very hard for in Game 3.
He and the Beermen hope to figure things out before heading back to the Big Dome for Friday’s Game 4, which could virtually decide the series.
And even with the streak gone, Boatwright is keeping the same mentality, whether San Miguel can get itself closer to its ultimate goal this conference or see Magnolia come away with another win and put the Finals back on level terms.
“I try not to really think about it (the unbeaten streak), I just want to stay on even keel, whether we win the game or lose the game,” he said.