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Another blowout?

By Jonas Terrado

Game Today
(Smart Araneta Coliseum)
6:30 p.m. – San Miguel
vs Ginebra
(Series tied 2-2)

Expecting the unexpected could be main theme of tonight’s fifth game of what coach Tim Cone described as a “strange” PBA Commissioner’s Cup Finals as San Miguel Beer and Barangay Ginebra San Miguel go for a pivotal 3-2 lead in front of another expected big crowd at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Blowout games have been the norm since the start of the championship chase but the close game fans have been begging for the last eight days could finally happen given the importance of the 6:30 p.m. which will put the winner on the cusp of reigning supreme in the midseason conference.

“I don’t think I’ve ever seen one or been in one like this before,” Cone said after Ginebra leveled the series with a 130-100 victory last Friday at the Big Dome.

Best Import Justin Brownlee got the supporting cast that was lacking in the past two games with Greg Slaughter and LA Tenorio leading a 17-0 start to continue the trend of the series that has an average winning margin of 30.3 points.

Another blowout or a cardiac finish is perhaps the least of Slaughter’s worries, as long as the Kings can get one foot on the championship door.

“If we can win by a blowout, I’ll take that again. But we’re not counting on that,” he said. “This has been just kind of a bipolar series, blowout after blowout. But I’m pretty sure that close game, down-to-the-wire is coming soon.”

Beermen coach Leo Austria wasn’t thrilled with the manner of how his team lost, after winning Games 2 and 3 by a total of 63 points.

Alex Cabagnot and Chris Ross combined for 5-of-19 from the field for 17 points after delivering key triples in the two San Miguel victories.

“I’m a little bit worried because it’s a best-of-three and I think they will be having a sixth man which is the crowd,” said Austria, referring to the Ginebra fans that have obviously outnumbered the San Miguel faithful since Game 1.

“But I hope my team will realize that the stakes are high, at least in the next two games,” added Austria.

San Miguel import Renaldo Balkman, meanwhile, said there’s no need for the Beermen to push the panic button.

“We’re okay, we’re on a great spot and we got a game on Sunday,” he said. “I guarantee that we’ll come out hard on Sunday, trust me. Y’all can mark my words on that, guarantee.”

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