A highly physical game is expected as the San Miguel Beermen and the Alaska Aces break the 1-1 deadlock today in Game Three of the best-of-seven titular series of the 40th Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) Philippine Cup at the Araneta Coliseum.
The Beermen of coach Leo Austria posted a 100-86 win in Game Two on Friday to avenge an 82-88 setback in the opener on Wednesday.
Austria himself is predicting a tough battle for his wards in the lone game set at 5 p.m.
“I think Game 3 will be more physical as well because both teams want to win. We have to be more aggressive and follow our game plan,” said Austria, who also expressed concern over June Mar Fajardo’s condition.
“I’m a little concerned about June Mar’s state of health. But I’m sure he has a big heart,” he noted.
There was six interruptions by the referees in Game 2 to cool down the players’ tempers brought about by the highly physical match.
Former MVP and skipper Arwind Santos suffered a gash on his scalp after being hit by an elbow by Alaska’s Calvin Abueva midway in the third quarter. Despite the wound, Santos continued to lead the Beermen with 22 points on nine-of-16 shooting.
Abueva was also meted a technical foul for crashing a knee on Chris Ross that floored the SMB guard. There was also a skirmish between SMB rookie David Semerad and Alaska big man Vic Manuel. The 6’5 Manuel was meted two flagrant technical fouls.
Rookie coach Alex Compton cited the physicality of the game as the cause of the setback, saying that they lost focus, which was exploited by the Beermen.
“I think we lost our focus when we were making cheap shots,” said Compton.