Do-or-die Friday for Petron Blaze, San Mig Coffee-A A +A
Thursday, October 24, 2013
MANILA — It’s the moment of truth for Petron Blaze and San Mig Coffee as they dispute the 38th PBA Governors Cup crown in Game 7 of the finals series at 8 p.m. tonight the Araneta Coliseum.
The Blaze Boosters extended the series after winning Game 6, 99-88, last Wednesday.
Petron won Game 1, 100-84, and Game 3, 90-68, but San Mig took Game 2, 100-93, Game 4, 88-86, and Game 5, 114-103.
The 6’5 import Elijah Millsap provided the needed lift in the pivotal period and finished with 30 points, eight rebounds and six assists.
“We will come out more prepared on Friday. It’s already Game 7 of the Finals and it’s anybody’s ball game now. This a dream of coaches and players to be in this tight situation. We will do our best to represent the organization well,” said Petron coach Gee Abanilla, who is aiming for the SMC franchise’ 20th title.
Coach Tim Cone of San Mig likewise said they will suit up with a lot of firepower and improve their execution of their game plan, which he said was missing in Game 6.
“We cannot play against Petron without all cylinders firing. We have to be precise in our execution in both sides of the floor. To beat Petron three games straight is very hard to do. We will go for it on Friday,” said Cone, who is aiming for his 15th championship title to tie legendary coach Baby Dalupan with the most ittles in the league.
San Mig is aiming for its 10th title since joining the league as Purefoods Hotdogs in 1988. They won their first and only Governor’s Cup in 2002 under coach Ryan Gregorio, while the Blaze Boosters, one of the original members of the league having joined in 1975, are looking for their fifth Governor’s Cup crown. The last time they won it was in 2011 under a rookie coach Ato Agustin.
The 47-year-old Abanilla, a former De La Salle Archers head coach who replaced Olsen Racela just this conference, is hoping to become the seventh coach to win a championship in his rookie year.
The others are Crispa’s Narciso Bernardo in 1984, Shell’s Arlene Rodriguez in 1990, Chot Reyes with Purefoods in 1993, Eric Altamirano also with Purefoods in 1997, Rryan Gregorio with Purefoods in 2002 and Joel Banal with Talk ‘N Text in 2003.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on October 25, 2013.