BARANGAY Ginebra and San Mig Coffee will break their 2-2 deadlock when they collide at 3:30 p.m. today in Game 5 of the best-of-seven semifinals series of the 39th Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) Philippine Cup at the Araneta Coliseum.
San Mig won Game 1 (85-83) on January 28 and Game 3 (97-89) on February 2 but lost Game 2 (93-64) on January 31 and Game 4 (85-82) on February 5.
Both coaches Ato Agustin of Ginebra and Tim Cone of San Mig are expected to make necessary adjustments in the crucial match.
The 6’9 Japeth Aguilar, who notched seven points, 10 rebounds and two block shots in Ginebra’s second win on Wednesday vowed to be more effective in defense in today’s game against the Coffee Mixers.
“I’m not after scoring for 20 points. Even less is okay for me. What is important is to win the semifinals series and make it to the finals. I want Ginebra to win the championship trophy,” said Aguilar, who is trailing behind Petron’s June Mar Fajardo in the race for the coveted “Best Player of the Conference” plum. He averaged 18.86 points, 8.93 rebounds, 1.57 assists and 3.50 blockshots a game in the conference.
San Mig’s Marc Pingres, however, admitted that the referees’ call that earned him three fouls in the first quarter of Game 4 affected his game. He promised to improve his focus in today’s game, “My early foul trouble was a big factor and also for James [Yap]. He told me it’s hard to win with this kind of calls. And I told him that we have to make adjustments no matter how difficult the situation is,” said Pingres.
Meanwhile, the PBA said that from the original 15 referees at the start of the conference, only the top eight in terms of performance would remain for the rest of the conference.
“The league has so far meted out seven suspensions, two on Class B referees and five on Class C referees, ranging from one to two weeks. Another erring referee was suspended from January 13, 2014 up to the end of the conference. Starting from the end of the eliminations, six Class C referees have been dropped from the pool. They have been relegated to the PBA D-League for further training along with the PBA Referees Academy graduates,” the PBA said in a press statement.