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‘Still underdogs’ Meralco Bolts keeping guards up

Meralco Bolts during the third game of the PBA Philippine Cup Finals.–MARLO CUETO/

MANILA, Philippines—Having a 2-1 series lead over San Miguel Beer does not change the fact that Meralco remains the underdog in the PBA Philippine Cup finals.

Bolts rookie Brandon Bates made it clear: no lead is a sure thing, especially against the powerful Beermen.

“We are not excited. Although we were up 2-1, Ginebra beat us 3-2, I remember, and look what happened there. At any moment, they can take it away from us,” Bates said after Meralco put together a 93-89 Houdini performance in Game 3 on Sunday.

READ: PBA Finals: Meralco counters San Miguel’s depth with defense

“We don’t take this for granted. We are not satisfied. Until we get the fourth victory, everything is nothing.”

Bates knows the worst thing Meralco could do right now is let its guard down.

Brandon Bates Meralco heads to PBA Philippine Cup finals

Meralco Bolts rookie Brandon Bates during game three of the PBA Philippine Cup Finals.–MARLO CUETO/

“Our coaching staff is very much in favor of us not being complacent and not having arrogance in games and things like that. We’re still the underdogs,” said Bates, who scored two points and grabbed five rebounds but helped force June Mar Fajardo into turnovers seven times.

READ: PBA Finals: Brandon Bates doesn’t let the spotlight get to him

“Regardless of whether we’re up 2-1, we’re still the underdogs, so we’ve got to have that chip on our shoulder. We have to understand that.”

Bates and the Bolts will look for a 3-1 lead on Wednesday.

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