The San Miguel Beermen will be aiming for a sweep and their 21st overall title when they take on the Alaska Aces today in Game Four of the best-of-seven championship round of 40th Philippine Basketball Association Governors’ Cup at the Araneta Coliseum.
Game starts at 7:00 p.m. after the Leo Prieto Annual Awards at 5:00 p.m. that will recognize the season’s Most Valuable Player.
Leo Austria, who assumed the position as San Miguel Beer head coach this season remains wary of the Aces despite the 3-0 lead posted by his wards.
“They are known as the PBA’s comeback kings that’s why we can’t relax,” Austria, a former Adamson University head coach in the University Athletic Association of the Philippines, told The Manila Times in a phone interview on Thursday.
“It’s going to be tough if they win back-to-back which they are capable of that’s why we need to keep going to win the title. As of now, we are not yet a champions.”
The Beermen won against Aces in Game One 108-78, in Game Two 103-95 and in Game Three 96-89 on Wednesday.
Import Arizona Reid, June Mar Fajardo, Alex Cabagnot and Marcio Lassiter were responsible for the Beermen’s dominance of the first three games.
Reid posted a season-high 41 points for the third time on Wednesday in addition to his 12 rebounds in Game Three. Fajardo, on the other hand, is responsible for 19 of San Miguel Beer’s 58 rebounds.
Besides Reid, Fajardo, Lassiter and Cabagnot, veteran player Arwind Santos, Chris Lutz, Chris Ross, David Semerad, Gabby Espinas and Ronald Tubid, among others, also displayed exemplary performance in the last three games.
Inside the Alaska camp, head coach Alex Compton is still figuring out what went wrong with his wards.
“They had 22 more rebounds, we were missing more shots than them. We did a better defensive job today,” said Compton. “I think regular season we’re the best free throw shooting team then all of a sudden we’re 6-of-17.”
“One of the building blocks of our team is honor and we’ll honor the game we’re going to play. If SMB will win this series, they’ve got to earn it and we’re going out there and we’re going to play,” Compton said.
Alaska is expected to rely on import Romeo Travis, Cyrus Baguio, Dondon Hontiveros, Sonny Thoss, Chris Banchero, Calvin Abueva, JV Casio and Vic Manuel, among others, to finally score a win in Game Four of the finals.