(Smart Araneta Coliseum)
6:30 p.m. – Ginebra vs Meralco
But typhoon may force cancellation.
After figuring in four matches that were settled by an average of 3.5 points, Barangay Ginebra San Miguel and Meralco surely need an extra day of rest to regroup and recharge their batteries.
The Kings and the Bolts held separate practices yesterday, bracing for the pivotal Game 5 of the PBA Governors’ Cup Finals tonight at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
The game, however, is in danger of being cancelled because of an approaching typhoon.
Typhoon Karen is set to make landfall in Luzon today, bringing rains and winds of up to 180 kilometers per hour.
The PBA Commissioner’s Office is monitoring the situation, but has yet to make a decision at press time.
“Sunday’s game can and will be cancelled in the event typhoon Karen intensifies,” PBA media bureau head Willie Marcial said. “Please monitor our website @pbaconnect and social media sites for news and updates.”
In the event of a cancellation, the game will be held on Wednesday at the same venue.
The series is tied after four games with the Kings leveling the series Friday behind veterans Mark Caguioa and Jayjay Helterbrand.
Ginebra playmaker LA Tenorio said the safety of everyone is the league’s primary concern, but is hoping that the match will push through.
“We’re hoping to that there’s no cancellation. We can’t tell din naman what will happen due to the storm, but hopefully na ‘di naman ganun ka-grabe yung bagyo, sana lumihis para matuloy yung laro,” said the 5-foot-8 guard.
History favors the team that wins Game 5 in a close series.
Thirty-nine out of 51 teams that won Game 5 went on to win a seven-game series, including 24 in the finals.
Meralco won Games 1 and 3 while Ginebra took the second and fourth games.
On Friday, Caguioa and Helterbrand, who form the “The Fast and The Furious tandem, caught fire in the fourth quarter to power the Kings to a come-from-behind 88-86 win before an overflow crowd at the Big Dome.
The veteran pair scored all of their points in the final period to help Ginebra erase a 74-58 lead by Meralco.
The 5-11 Helterbrand marked his 40th birthday by going 4-of-4 from the field, including three from the arc to finish the game with 11 points.
The 6-1 Caguioa, on the other hand, added eight points as the Kings outscored the Bolts, 27-6, to take the upperhand, 85-80, with 3:39 left.
Chris Newsome, the rookie of the year, missed a jumper at the buzzer that could have extended the game.
“That was a story book game, Jay and Mark do their thing, it was amazing,” said Ginebra mentor Tim Cone. “I don’t know what we’re doing, we’re swinging in the wind. But they got out there and played with so much energy.”
“Gosh I don’t feel like I should be here. I messed up (coaching). But they’re great players, and make up for lousy coaching. That pretty much saved our series. Now we go from here,” added Cone as he paid a big tribute to Helterbrand and Caguioa, both former Most Valuable Players.
A Game 5 cancellation would give extra days for Japeth Aguilar to recover from a sprained left ankle.
Although Aguilar joined team practice yesterday, Cone said his availability remains a game-time decision.
Meralco tied the game, 86-all, behind Reynel Hugnatan and Best Import winner Allen Durham with 1:19 left.
The winning basket came from Joe Devance who scored on a turnaround jump shot from the left corner with 25.7 seconds to play.