HISTORICALLY, the winner of Game One in every best-of-seven championship series anywhere in the world has better chances of winding up champ.
Go to either the NBA (National Basketball Association of the USA) or the PBA (Philippine Basketball Association) and the records there will bear me out.
OK, let us cite the recently-ended NBA Finals.
The Golden State Warriors won Game One in Oakland, CA, before speeding to a 3-0 bulge.
After slowing down a bit to virtually hand Game 4 to the Cleveland Cavaliers on a silver platter, the Warriors buckled down to business and collared the title-clinching Game Five with ridiculous ease.
But in capturing their second NBA crown in three years, the Warriors practically traded history for the sweet taste of victory being accomplished on home soil.
For, at the rate they were winning championship games—three in a row, the third one plucked in Cleveland—the Warriors could have easily made it four straight.
But had they chose to do that, it would have forced them to sacrifice foregoing a hometown crown-winning victory with a Game Four win in Cavalier country. Unpalatable?
I am not saying the Warriors took a dive in Game Four, willingly losing it in favor of electing ostensibly to wrap up the crown in Oakland.
But I will bet my last peso every basketball pundit will readily submit to that.
Enough already, though. As we love to say, it’s all water under the bridge.
Now as to the Game One winner spin having the handsomest chances of proceeding to win the crown in a best-of-seven series, who between the San Miguel Beermen and the TNT Tropang Texters are more hungry to prevail on Wednesday?
The Beermen are hungrier than the Texters.
That’s because they are more future-oriented than the TNTs.
A Game One win on Wednesday is not only geared at sparking a title-clincher but, more significantly, it would forcefully mean the Beermen are really aching to complete a rare Grand Slam.
SMB, the first conference winner yet again, was blunted the past two seasons from achieving the Slam with back-to-back losses in the Commissioner’s Cup—the middle jewel of the Triple Crown.
Published in the SunStar Cebu newspaper on June 20, 2017.
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