PBA: San Mig seeks clincher vs Ginebra | Inquirer Sports

PBA: San Mig seeks clincher vs Ginebra

By: - Reporter / @MusongINQ
/ 01:03 AM February 10, 2014

Ginebra’s Mac Baracael takes it hard to the basket and draws a foul from Raffy Reavis of San Mig Coffee in Saturday’s Game 5. AUGUST DELA CRUZ

MANILA, Philippines –After virtually chopping down to size its foe’s big men, San Mig Coffee tries to close out Barangay Ginebra Monday and secure the second championship series slot in the PLDT MyDSL Philippine Cup at Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Gametime is 8 p.m. with the odds favoring the Mixers, who held twin towers Greg Slaughter and Japeth Aguilar to nine points and nine rebounds each in a 79-76 win Saturday that gave them a 3-2 edge in the best-of-seven duel.


San Mig has controlled this series right from the start and—save for Game 2—has had a chance to win every game, which showed  coach Tim Cone’s mastery of crowd-favorite Ginebra.

“It’s just a one-game lead,” said Cone, a veteran of many wars who has seen his share of blown leads bigger than this one. “[Winning] this [fifth] game doesn’t mean much unless we finish them off.”


Aguilar and Slaughter need to dominate the Mixers to force a Game 7, which has been scheduled for Wednesday.

Rain or Shine earlier made it to the best-of-seven title series after a 4-1 plastering of another favored side, the Petron Blaze Boosters.

To reach the finals, Cone will also have to rely heavily on point guards Mark Barroca and rookie Justin Melton, who are holding their own against the much-experienced Ginebra rotation led by LA Tenorio.

Tenorio made two bad decisions in the endgame on Saturday and is surely itching to atone for them tonight.

The wily 5-foot-9 playmaker, who narrowly lost the MVP award to Petron’s Arwind Santos last season, made two forced layups, the last when the Gin Kings needed a three-point attempt and not a field goal to forge overtime.

Aguilar has been the missing link for the Kings, not just in Game 5 but in the entire series, where his numbers have gone down significantly as a result of the defensive blanket devised by Cone.

Marc Pingris has anchored the San Mig defense to great effect. He has been tasked to shut down guards, forwards and even Slaughter and Aguilar. He has also contributed offensively.



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TAGS: Basketball, Ginebra Gin Kings, James Yap, LA Tenorio, Mark Barroca, PBA, Philippine Cup, San Mig Coffee Mixers, Sports
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