Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?




San Miguel shots for 24th title; Magnolia fights for survival


Game today:

(Smart Araneta Coliseum)

7:30 p.m. — San Miguel vs Magnolia


There will be no hugs and kisses between sister teams this Valentine’s Day as San Miguel Beer go for the jugular when it battles Magnolia in Game 6 of the Philippine Basketball Association Commissioner’s Cup best-of-seven finals series today at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Game time is set at 7:30 p.m. with the Beermen smelling blood, ready to go for the kill and claim their 29th PBA title in franchise history.

The first four games of the series had been a see-saw battle, a string of encounters that put the league’s most high-powered offense and most suffocating defense on full display.

Behind the red-hot shooting of import Bennie Boatwright, June Mar Fajardo and Best Player of the Conference CJ Perez, the Beermen drew the first blood — 103-95 and 109-85 — in the first two games of the series.

But instead of getting demoralized, the Hotshots regrouped and responded by flaunting their suffocating defense.

Import Tyler Bey took charge of stopping Boatwright while other Hotshots like Calvin Abueva, Ian Sangalang, Mark Barroca and Jio Jalalon stepped up to book an 88-80 victory and 96-85 win in Games 3 and 4 that set the stage for a crucial Game 5.

But in the tiebreaking encounter, a pair of unheralded gunners caught fire and lifted the Beermen to a 108-98 win that put them on the verge of securing the title.

Jericho Cruz, who was suspended in Game 3 and hardly made his presence felt in Game 4, erupted with 30 points, eight rebounds, four assists and four steals while Simon Enciso knocked down five three-pointers to finish with 15 points.

Although raising the trophy while the nation is celebrating the Day of Love sounds like a fairy-tale finish, Beermen coach Jorge Gallent believes that the mission will not be easy.

“It’s not going to be easy,” San Miguel coach Jorge Gallent said.

“Like in any championship series, the close out game is the toughest and the two-day break will allow both teams to recharge. We just have to be ready.”

While their elite shooting had brought the Beermen to the finals, there was no doubt that it was their airtight defense that gave them the decisive Game 5 victory.

In fact, the Beermen forced the Hotshots into committing 21 turnovers while Enciso carried the offensive load and Fajardo provided inspiration by playing through an injured calf.

Still, Magnolia is tipped to go all out not just to win Game 6 but also to keep its dream of snapping a six-year title drought alive.

“We just have to deal with what’s in front of us and we admit that it’s going to be tough,” said Magnolia coach Chito Victolero, who last won the title in Governors’ Cup in 2018.

“Just one game and we’ll be back in the hunt.”

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You May Also Like


SOCIAL MEDIAManny Pacquiao knows his time is up. This was the keen observation made by a longtime member of his training team who spent...


SOCIAL MEDIAThe dynamic duo of Johnmar “OhMyV33nus” Villaluna and Danerie James “Wise” del Rosario is back with a bang after leading Blacklist International to...


SOCIAL MEDIAThe University Athletic Association of the Philippines will have a full calendar of sports events for Season 85 starting 1 October. UAAP President...


SOCIAL MEDIAECHO has revealed its roster for the upcoming M4 Mobile Legends World Championship to be held 1-15 January 2023 in Jakarta, Indonesia. The...


SOCIAL MEDIAIt’s going to be business as usual as the Philippine Basketball Association will not stop its on-court activities when it gives way for...


SOCIAL MEDIAIt doesn’t look as if newly-crowned Melvin Jerusalem will get the luxury of defending his minimumweight crown against a handpicked rival after the...


Mitchell, meanwhile, is a six-foot shooting guard frowm Hartford University.


SOCIAL MEDIALegendary boxing referee Carlos ‘Sonny’ Padilla was recently inducted into the Nevada Boxing Hall of Fame. Famous for serving as the third man...