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PBA: Record turnout seen in Game 5

James Yap of SanMig against Paul Lee of RoS.   photo by Tony Pionilla

Manila, Philippines – The Philippine Basketball Association is bracing for a huge turnout for today’s Game 5 of the PLDT Telepad-PBA Governors’ Cup Finals between grand slamseeking San Mig Coffee and Rain or Shine at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

As of noon yesterday tickets for the finale of the epic series were selling like hotcakes suggesting another record crowd for the Asia’s play of pay league.

“Thanks to the intensity and passion of the protagonists, this series has really generated so much support from the fans. But we have to admit that we cannot accommodate all of them for today’s Game 5,” said PBA Commissioner Chito Salud.

“As much as we want to fill the Araneta Coliseum up the rafters, we are also trying to avoid accidents. Safety and security of the fans is always foremost in my mind,” Salud said.

In the same breath, Salud was quick to declare that the league would not want the fans to miss the climax of the season’s final game in which San Mig Coffee is attempting to win to become just the fourth team in league history to complete a rare grand slam.

So the league chieftain devised a measure to enable PBA diehards, who would not make it to the Big Dome, to watch the deciding Game 5.

PBA chairman Ramon Segismundo has instructed to the PBA Commissioner’s Office to implement the plan as quick as possible.

In its desire to enable as many fans to watch Game 5, Salud said wide screens will be set up at ResortsWorld Manila and at the Araneta Center in Cubao Quezon City. Water stations courtesy of Maynilad will also be put up around the Araneta Center.

“This is our small way of thanking the fans for their unwavering support to the PBA through the years,” said Salud, who also appreciate the support of MyPhone, Resorts World Manila, Araneta Center and Police Supt. Ramon Pranada for joining hands with the league in this undertaking.

PSupt. Pranada, Cubao Station 7 commander, has assured Salud of police mobility around the Araneta Center to protect the fans from scalpers and ticket snatchers.

Rain or Shine forced a winner take all by defeating San Mig Coffee, 88-79, on Monday to even the series at two games apiece.