By Michael Angelo S. Murillo
TIED at 1-1 in their best-of-seven Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) Commissioner’s Cup finals series, the defending champions San Miguel Beermen and Barangay Ginebra San Miguel Kings look to go one up over the other in Game Three today the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Set for 7 p.m., the finals protagonists are out to seize control of the series that has seen two blowout games to date.
San Miguel pulled even in Game Two on Sunday, winning, 134-109, in a game that had it leading wire-to-wire.
Guard Alex Cabagnot was steady throughout the contest, finishing with 33 points and nine assists.
June Mar Fajardo had 25 points while import Renaldo Balkman and Christian Standhardinger each had 20 in the huge series-tying victory.
The game turned chippy in the wind-up with both two teams engaging in a lot of pushing, shoving and trash talking, leading to San Miguel’s Arwind Santos and Chris Ross getting tossed out in successive fashion for a Flagrant Foul 2 on Barangay Ginebra’s Scottie Thompson and two technical fouls, respectively.
Having leveled the series, the Beermen hope to build on the momentum they have got from the Game Two victory moving forward.
“We were sad after the first game but the players knew the importance of Game Two and they came out furiously at the start,” said San Miguel coach Leo Austria after Game Two.
“Good thing we got this win. It would be hard to be down 0-2. Now we have a series,” he added.
For Game Two player of the game winner Cabagnot, they should not be satisfied with leveling the series and instead continue working to see them reach their goals.
“They played well in Game One. We played well in Game Two. That’s just the ebony-ivory flow of the series so we can’t look at it as personal like that so we just have to continue to watch extensive film and just continue to learn. I’m pretty sure there’s still a lot of mistakes that we need to patch up so we’re still striving for that perfect game. Hopefully we could attain that,” Mr. Cabagnot said in the postgame press conference.
TIGHT GAME THREE
After two blowout games, the series could be poised for a tight one, shared Barangay Ginebra coach Tim Cone.
“So we got one blowout, they got one blowout, so we’ll see what happens in Game Three. 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.
He went on to lament not being able to play at the level that San Miguel showed in Game Two.
“We talked about them turning the tables. We talked about it, and talked about it, but we still failed to stop them. Now we know they are who they are for a reason and we have to counter that,” Mr. Cone said.
As to the physicality of the series, Kings forward Joe Devance said it is to be expected.
“This is the finals and if you don’t have emotions you don’t deserve to be here. That’s just part of it,” said Mr. Devance, who finished with 16 points in Game Two behind import Justin Brownlee’s 29.
Taken from Businessworld