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Poise is key in Game 3

Game Today
(Smart Araneta Coliseum)
6:30 p.m. – San Miguel vs TNT KaTropa

BEST-OF-SEVEN SERIES
Game 1 – TNT KaTropa 104, San Miguel 102
Game 2 – San Miguel 102, TNT KaTropa 88
(Series tied 1-1)

Composure is what the San Miguel Beermen and TNT KaTropa want to display tonight as they dispute a 2-1 lead in Game 3 of their best-of-seven series for the PBA Commissioner’s Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

That quality was something the Beermen displayed in Friday’s Game 2 when they erased an early 17-0 deficit with a torrid run that led to a 102-88 victory over the KaTropa who otherwise failed to display such highlighted by the ejection of rookie Roger Pogoy in the third quarter for hitting Arwind Santos in the groin.

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Pogoy escaped suspension yesterday after he was fined R30,000 by the league, and will be available for the 6:30 p.m. contest.

TNT coach Nash Racela called on his players to keep their emotions check for the long haul.

“I think we need to control our emotions more because things will not change,” Racela told reporters after Friday’s game without elaborating.

“In the PBA you don’t expect a sweep. I expect a Game 7. We’ll see each other two more weeks I think. No golf for two weeks. I’m looking at a Game 7,” added the rookie coach who is an ardent golfer.

His counterpart Leo Austria praised his team’s resolve that enabled them to tie the series, but cautioned that the blowout may have a positive effect for TNT.

“Kung pwede nga, manalo lang kami ng one point. Dahil kapag binugbog ka, malamang babawi. That’s what we don’t want to happen so we have to be ready next game,” he said.

San Miguel made a quick response from its early deficit led by Santos, who made 11 of his 16 points in the first quarter that sparked the Beermen rally.

June Mar Fajardo, Chris Ross and Alex Cabagnot then pounced on TNT in the second and third periods that pushed San Miguel to pull away and led by a high of 32 points.

The KaTropa felt they let a golden opportunity slip away of taking a 2-0 lead. Import Joshua Smith, still bothered by an injured right foot, battled the stingy Beermen defense throughout the evening while Jayson Castro scored just four points after erupting for 10.

Pogoy had a frustrating follow-up to his 27-point performance in Game 1, going scoreless in 19 minutes before being sent to the showers for his hit on Santos.

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