GAME five of the best of seven between the Beermen and the Texters resumes Wednesday, August 14. After four games, it is down to a best of three with no clear indication of who takes home the Commissioner's Cup. Last week, I surmised that SMB was just caught flat-footed by TNT in the 15-point win in game one. After which, we got treated to a series with both teams getting alternating wins to even up the series, 2-2.
Heading to game five, both teams are back to the drawing boards. How can they sustain their Commissioner's Cup runs to end with the title?
SMB has answers to the TNT play calls. Championship poise is what has also been carrying this SMB team throughout this series. Steady playmaking of the SMB backcourt and frontcourt coupled with their cerebral attacks on the TNT import has thrown the TNT team off balance. This group of championship veterans, who have stood with each other can also wrap up this series sooner. This team is “pick your poison” lethal. You cannot contain everyone. With their championship experience, these grizzled veterans know how to contribute on and off the court for their team.
On the other hand, TNT does have a prolific duo in Terrence Jones and Jayson Castro, who incidentally both bagged the Best Import and Best Player plums before game four. We also see the emergence of young talents in Troy Rosario and RR Pogoy. But they have to bring their plays to the next gear if they want to wrap up this series. They cannot let the physical and mental tactics of SMB get into their game.
We have missed this in the PBA for quite some time now. Two NBA caliber imports, wily backcourts and a ton of side stories which contributes to the plot of how this turns out. Game five will be the deciding factor for this series and whoever annexes this title surely deserves it.
Notes from the sidelines:
The Kadayawan Basketball tournament which opened last Sunday was off to a great start. Dabawenyos eager to see stellar amateur basketball trooped to the gym to see unlimited plays and stops from the teams. Today will also be the final day of the tournament, so head out to the Almendras Gym to witness the battle for third at 5 p.m. and the championship game at 6:30 p.m.