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SMC squads test Dragons prowess

Three teams under the San Miguel Corporation umbrella will take turns in testing the prowess of Bay Area in their quest for the Philippine Basketball Association Commissioner’s Cup title.

First to face the dangerous Dragons will be reigning champion San Miguel Beer when they clash in a best-of-five semifinals series starting Wednesday at the Philsports Arena.

Should the Dragons emerge victorious, they will collide with the survivor in the other semifinal pairing featuring Barangay Ginebra San Miguel and Magnolia.

The Hotshots are now playing in their fourth straight semifinal appearance, but they are determined to make their way to the championship round in a bid to finally nail the title of this import-flavored conference.

The last time the Hotshots played in the finals was lost year in which they surrendered the Philippine Cup crown to TNT Tropang Giga in five games.

Ginebra, on the other hand, had established a winning reputation with import Justin Brownlee in tow.

Now the second winningest import to play in the PBA with five championships, Brownlee will try to join Sean Chambers of Alaska for the most number of championships.

The Gin Kings had won two championships over the past two years and hope to add another one to their growing list of collections.

But the focus will surely be on the San Miguel-Bay Area duel.

The winningest team in league history, San Miguel is peaking at the right time, winning six in a row.

The Beermen are determined to keep the crown against an aggressive visiting Dragons team, which turned out to be the most dominant visiting squad the past four decades.

Bay Area is looking to make its mark in Asia’s pioneering professional basketball league by becoming the first visiting team to win a PBA title since Nicholas Stoodley emerged victorious 42 years ago.

It also wants to join the company of Northern Consolidated as the first guest squad to win a title.

The NCC, then bannered by naturalized players Jeff Moore and Dennis Still with rising stars Allan Caidic, Samboy Lim and Hector Calma, swept Beer Hausen in four games to win the season-ending conference in 1985.

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