THE back-to-back losses early in its PBA Philippine Cup campaign serves as a wake-up call for defending champion San Miguel.
While they look cool despite going below the .500 mark after five games into the season-opening conference, the Beermen meant business and just won't allow Blackwater to deal them another beating Wednesday night.
With five-time MVP June Mar Fajardo coming through with a dominant 20-20 game and Alex Cabagnot finally back in harness, the three-time defending champion whipped the Elite, 93-79, to get back on the winning track again.
Fajardo finished with 20 points and 21 rebounds, while Cabagnot dropped 19 points after missing out the team's last four games to help the team evened their record at 3-3 halfway into their campaign in the eliminations.
"You know with San Miguel, I know were happy go lucky, pero there's always a sense of urgency naman talaga," said Cabagnot as he addressed the Beermen's first back-to-back losses in the last five All-Filipino conference.
The veteran guard added winning a record fifth straight Philippine Cup championship remains the Beermen's goal.
"Yung urgency to continue our streak of (five-peat) or strive for that, there's always an urgency," he said. "I know we're a very happy-go-lucky guys, Arwind brings good vibes, si June Mar has very good vibes, si Chris Ross has good vibes, pero deep down there's really a sense of urgency.
"Kino-cover up lang namin ng kaunti, we smile, we do that, pero we know that there is definite pressure on there."
But once they get their act together, the Beermen were an unstoppable force.
Cabagnot alone is a prime example as he hardly showed the rust of not playing for four games after hurting his hamstring and recovering from a recent nasal surgery.
He actually had to beg off his doctor to allow him to play again despite being told that his comeback game wasn't scheduled until next week yet.
"Gusto ko talagang maglaro. I want to play," said the San Miguel guard, who had to wear a protective mask in both practices and games.
"I want to play as much as I can. Na-miss ko rin, e." (RG)