Aug 04, 2018

Cone, Ginebra brace for San Miguel's fury in Game 5

Forget the blowouts. Forget the routs.

Titleholder San Miguel Beer and challenger Barangay Ginebra are now engaged in a virtual best-of-three duel, and each side is expected to go all out for the crucial go-ahead win in Game Five of the PBA Commissioner's Cup Finale at the Smart Araneta Coliseum Sunday.

Tipoff is at 6:30 p.m.

It's been a crazy series of routs that may boil down to a battle in the end.

Coach Tim Cone doesn't enjoy it and he's quite sure coach Leo Austria doesn't enjoy it either.

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"Either coach Leo or I don't want to play this kind of game. It's great when you're on the winning side. On the other side, it's terrible. You absolutely feel so helpless. You go home, you can't sleep. It's really hard to lose games like that," said Cone.

But a battle may now really be in the offing as the Kings and the Beermen fight for the 3-2 lead.

It's an important match where the winner earns two cracks to win the series. To be put on the line is all the hard work put on by both teams in the last three months.

"I hope our players will realize the importance of the game," said Austria.

Both coaches have their concerns going to the critical match.

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"They would have their sixth man (the crowd), and I hope our team really realize what at stake in the last three games is what we worked hard for in the last three months," said Austria.

"(Our 30-point Game Four triumph) doesn't make us secure for Game Five. We don't know what's gonna happen in Game Five. All it does is scare me even more because we've seen them fight the last time we did this (winning Game One by 28 points)," said Cone.

The two teams are deadlocked at 2-2 following Ginebra's 127-99 rout in Game One, San Miguel's back-to-back blowout wins from Game Two (134-109 and 132-94) then the Kings' equalizer on a 130-100 demolition job in Game Four.

Indeed, the Beermen ache to fight back.

"Nakatabla lang sila (They just tied the series). It's nothing to be ashamed of," said Austria.

"I'm sure we're going to have extensive video watching. We're going to adjust, and I believe we'll play a lot better," said SMB coach Alex Cabagnot.(SB)