By Michael Angelo S. Murillo
WITH their best-of-seven finals series levelled at one game apiece and Game Two turning chippy in the end, both the San Miguel Beermen and Barangay Ginebra San Miguel Kings expect intensity in their Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) Commissioner’s Cup championship joust to get higher as it progresses.
Bent on seeing their championship causes through and over the other for that matter, the finals protagonists see the jockeying for the title to only get cutthroat.
After being blown out in the series opener on Friday, 127-99, the Beermen fashioned their own rout over the Kings in the second game on Sunday, 134-109, that saw them leading from wire-to-wire.
While the match was pretty much settled in the fourth period, things got chippy between the two teams, with a lot of pushing, shoving and trash talking.
Along the way San Miguel’s Arwind Santos and Chris Ross got tossed out in successive fashion for a Flagrant Foul 2 on Barangay Ginebra’s Scottie Thompson and two technical fouls, respectively.
Following the game, the coaches of the two teams said a familiar tone could be expected for the series the rest of the way.
“It certainly got chippy [in Game Two], and you’re gonna see that throughout the whole series,” said Barangay Ginebra’s Tim Cone.
“It’s funny, we’re sister teams but we’re not friendly. Honestly, we’re not friendly with them at all, and you know, we see them as the mountain to be conquered, and they see us as the threat to their throne,” he added.
The Kings coach went on to say that after two blowouts, the series is due for a close one and it could well be in Game Three set for Wednesday.
“So we got one blowout, they got one blowout, so we’ll see what happens in Game 3. Usually that means it’s gonna be a nice tight game in Game Three, both teams will be coming out ready to go,” said Mr. Cone, who is trying to lead the Kings to a sixth PBA title in six conferences and 11th league championship overall.
San Miguel coach Leo Austria sees the same direction the series taking, which is why it is important for their coaching staff to prepare their players and try to keep their emotions in check.
“We like the intensity that our players are showing but they have to be careful and smart as well because technical fouls could be called like what happened in this game and they would be fined,” said the San Miguel coach who is out to lead the defending champions Beermen to their 26thchampionship all-time.
“But the intensity is going to have an effect on the rest of the team, seeing your teammates giving their all and ready to go all out. They just have to be smart on that,” he added.
Game Three of the finals will be at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.