San Juan could rewrite history Monday night with a win in Game 4 of its MPBL Datu Cup best-of-five finals series against Davao Occidental and become the first-ever national champion of the fastest growing regional amateur basketball league.
For the Knights, there’s no better way to do it than in front of their thousands of fans expected to pack the Filoil Flying V Centre today right after the Awarding Ceremonies to be held at 7 p.m. as the league fetes its outstanding individual performers.
The Knights could repeat the feat it once did in Year 2000 when it won the national championship in a fledgling basketball league, the MBA.
After almost two decades of waiting, the Knights have a new squad except for several other notable individuals, who are now playing different roles.
Randy Alcantara and Gherome Ejercito, both of whom played as guards during their successful run nearly two decades ago, are now part of the coaching staff, but they want to come in full circle by winning another championship to this gloried franchise.
Of course, former Senator Jinggoy Estrada is also a familiar fixture and the co-owner of the squad would be happy to bring home the multi-million championship trophy.
But the Tigers are no pushovers and one win could swing momentum back in their favor. Although they trail, 1-2, a win would shift the series back to Davao.
Head coach Don Dulay believes they cannot look beyond Game 4 as his wards are playing with their backs against the wall. To win, Dulay knows he needs more consistent games from his ex-pros, who produce 80 percent of the entire team output.
Mark Yee, an MVP candidate, has been on and off, so as Leo Najorda. Billy Robles has yet to play a breakout game in the series, while Bogs Raymundo and Bonbon Custodio will have to hold on to their heads and should refuse to get carried away by their emotions in this highly-emotional, highly-physical encounter.
The Knights are simply going for the kill and their mercenaries led by John Wilson and Mac Cardona, are determined to end it all Monday night.