Taking a pivotal edge is all that matters for TNT and San Miguel as the heated rivals resume their fiery battle in the best-of-seven finals of the 2019 Philippine Basketball Association Commissioner’s Cup.
Knotted at 2-2, the Tropang Texters and Beermen both want to seize a key upperhand as they meet again in Game 5 at 7 p.m. today at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Leaning on its championship experience, San Miguel was able to equalize the series by taking Game 4, 106-101, last Sunday night in yet another entertaining battle.
The Beermen, behind Alex Cabagnot and Chris McCullough, got off to a good start and that set the tone for them before June Mar Fajardo did some damage in the second half.
Looking forward, San Miguel Beer is eyeing its first taste of the lead in the series as it has been playing catch-up to TNT since Game 1.
San Miguel Beer tactician Leo Austria emphasized the importance of the critical Game 5.
“This game is really important. We want to get a 3-2 lead,” said Austria. “In a tough series, every lead is crucial.”
TNT active consultant Mark Dickel eyes making key adjustments to help his team get the key game ahead.
“We got to find a way to make a couple of adjustments, find a way to come back again and win Game 5,” said Dickel.
Best Import awardee Terrence Jones said that for the Tropang Texters to have a good shot at regaining the series lead, they simply can’t afford to start slow, something that happened to them in Game 4.
“I think we did a great job of coming back in Game 4, but with the timing of when they made their run, it was just a little difficult for us to try to get over that hump,” said Jones. “We can’t afford another slow start.”
In the four games thus far, the team which emerged victories was able to carve a double-digit lead at one point in each contest.