WITH everything squared up, don’t expect any shortage of firepower from San Miguel and TNT KaTropa.
The rivals go all out just to have a crack at gaining a distinct advantage in their heated best-of-seven semifinal series in the 2017 Philippine Basketball Association Philippine Cup.
The series is tied 2-2 and Game 5 is scheduled today at 7 p.m. at the Smart Araneta Coliseum with a lot on the line.
The team which will emerge victorious will move a win away from the finals and gain a vital advantage in this crucial stretch of the semis showdown.
Facing a must-win situation the last time out, the Beermen responded like defending champions, hacking up the most convincing win of the series, a 97-86 pounding of the Tropang Texters in Game 4 Tuesday night to tie it up and make it a best-of-three in the process.
San Miguel coach Leo Austria looks forward to an all-out war against the Tropang Texters, who he expects to bring their A-game again.
“This will be a game of adjustment. Ang laki ng respeto ko sa kanila kaya we have to play our game,” he said. “We need to dictate the tempo of the game. That will be crucial for us.”
Austria was not only pleased with how his team rose to the occasion to avoid a serious hole, but also thrilled to see his wards show the composure that made them a multiple-time champion team.
“I was really happy that we were able to tie the series,” said Austria. “I really have to commend my players for stepping up dahil alam nila ang sitwasyon namin. Nagkaroon sila ng urgency, especially si Chris Ross.”
Austria praised his tough guard as Ross not only led the team in defense, but exploded for a career-high 31 points to carry his team on his shoulders.
“I just appreciate that guy. He’s doing a lot for us,” said Austria.
In the process, San Miguel’s defense held up in Game 4 as TNT stars Jayson Castro and Ranidel De Ocampo were limited to only 17 points combined.