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‘Still underdogs’ Meralco Bolts keeping guards up

Meralco Bolts during Game 3 of the PBA Philippine Cup Finals.–MARLO CUETO/

MANILA, Philippines—Holding a 2-1 series edge over San Miguel Beer doesn’t change the fact that Meralco is still the underdog in the PBA Philippine Cup Finals.

Bolts rookie Brandon Bates made it clear: No lead is safe, especially against the mighty Beermen.

“We’re not excited. Even though we’re up 2-1, Ginebra was up 3-2 against us, I remember, and look what happened there. At any given moment, it could be taken away,” said Bates after Meralco pulled off a 93-89 Houdini act in Game 3 on Sunday.

READ: PBA Finals: Meralco countering San Miguel depth with defense

“We’re not taking this for granted. We’re not satisfied. Until we get the fourth win, it’s all nothing.”

Bates knows that the worst thing Meralco could do at this point is to let its guard down.

Brandon Bates Meralco Bolts PBA Philippine Cup Finals

Meralco Bolts rookie Brandon Bates during Game 3 of the PBA Philippine Cup Finals.–MARLO CUETO/

“Our coaching staff is big on us not being complacent and not having some swagger coming into the games and things like that. We’re still the underdogs,” said Bates, who scored two points and grabbed five rebounds but had a hand in forcing June Mar Fajardo to turn the ball over seven times.

READ: PBA Finals: Brandon Bates not letting the spotlight get to him

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

Bates and the Bolts go for a commanding 3-1 advantage on Wednesday.

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