Despite the feat of LeBron James and Kyrie Irving pulling the Cleveland Cavaliers within 3-2 in the ongoing best-of-seven series of the National Basketball Association Finals, the majority of Filipino NBA fans see the Golden State Warriors retaining the crown.
“Before the series started, I thought Golden State Warriors would win in seven games because of home court advantage. I still think that will happen,” basketball analyst Jude Turcuato of Fox Sports told The Manila Times. “Golden State is definitely capable [of winning in Game 6]but hard to beat Cavs twice in a row on the road.”
American foreign student Darren Wilfred of Air Link aviation school said that the “Dub Nation” now has a strong edge to capture the crown.
“Cavs will try to make a comeback but after Golden State’s win in Game 4, Golden State will win the title,” said Wilfred during an interview at the Howzat Sports Bar in Makati City. “LeBron [James] is carrying the team and [Kevin] Love is out, always, injured again.”
Timothy O’ Leary, an American foreign correspondent residing in Poblacion, Makati said he is rooting for the Golden State Warriors out of his dislike of James.
“Golden State will win eventually because they are the better team. Draymond Green’s absence is a major factor. He was suspended for one game and Andrew Bogut’s loss to injury is another reason why they lost in Game 5,” said O’ Leary.
“Still rooting for GSW even if it lost Game 6. I love the style of play and watching it for fun, but I’m not a GSW fan because my true team is Dallas Mavericks because I’m from Dallas. Texas. I don’t like LeBron James that much because he is not humble.”
Howzat Sports Bar owner British Jonathan Thorpe predicted a 4-2 win for the Warriors. “I predict GSW to win 4 to 2 once GSW gets back there the three-point shooting from outside. Clay [Thompson] missed his hits at the beginning – loss all confidence.”
For University of the Philippines men’s basketball team manager and Azkals manager Dan Palami, whoever wins Game 4 wins the series.
“I think whoever wins in Game 4, wins the series,” said Palami. “It’s either Game 3 showed that LeBron and his crew has found the formula to decode the Warriors’ game or that it was really just an off night for the Warriors who bounced back on Game 4 and go on to win the series. I think it’s the latter, so GSW for me in 6.”
Actor and model Mike Agassi is also placing his bet on the Warriors, “Cavs’ bench is too weak. I’ve been betting in bookie and so far I’m up. I bet and based on my own study,” he said.
Meanwhile, Business World sports columnist Mike Murillo sees a Game 7 happening, “That the series heading to a Game Seven, is not at all surprising.”
“GSW has been living up to its billing as defending champs but the Cavs are far a better team than the one that trailed 3-1 and they showed that in Game Five.”
“Cleveland is not out of the woods yet but playing at home and boosted by their performance in the previous game. I like their chances of forcing a rubber match. Even with Draymond Green back. Game 7 will be a toss-up though,” added Murillo.
Graphic artist Guian Karlo Avante, a Cavs’ fan, is hoping Cleveland would bounce back, “I’m hoping other players like Ian Shumpert, JR Smith and Kevin Love will step up to extend the series to do-or-die,” he said.
“Another plus factor for the Cavs is if LeBron and Irving’s 40-point production will happen again. I believe Golden State will win the series even without Andrew Bogut because they’re consistent. Golden State has a deep bench too. They have Shaun Livingston and Leandro Barbosa and others.”
Philippine Sportswriters Association President Riera Mallari said that he wants Cleveland to win for the good of the league.
“I don’t like LeBron James, but in the NBA Finals I am rooting for him and the Cavs, arguably the underdogs here,” said Mallari. “Someone has to dismantle these juggernaut Warriors, before they totally own the NBA like Daenerys Targaryen owns her three dragons.”
“They are very talented and good. It’s bad for the league if they can obliterate good teams (Oklahoma Thunder) just like that. So James and the Cavs, don’t be just good, be great.”