PETRON Blaze aims to beef up its offense while San Mig Coffee will fortify its defense when they battle to break a 1-1 tie today in the best-of-seven titular series of the 38th Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) Governor’s Cup at the Araneta Coliseum.
The Coffee Mixers tied the long series following their 100-84 win in Game Two on Sunday to avenge the 84-100 setback they absorbed in the opening game of the series.
Game Three is set at 8 p.m.
Even coach Tim Cone of San Mig was surprised over their victory because of his wards’ poor showing in the free throw lane, hitting only 29 of 55 attempts mostly by import Marqus Blakely, who was 7-of-21 in the stripes.
“The poor free throw shooting was at least complemented with their good defense. They snatched the rebound department and contested every shot,” said Cone referring to their 51 rebounds compared to only 39 for Petron in Game Two.
Unlike in Game One, which was dominated by the Blaze Boosters, San Mig showed it is the most defensive team in the elimination round edging Petron in assists (19-18), steals (12-3) and committed less turnovers (15-21). Both are even in block shots (3-3).
Cone is aiming for his 15th titles to equal the legendary Baby Dalupan as the winningest coach in the league and 10th for the Coffee Mixers. Gee Abanilla, on the other hand, is looking forward to becoming the seventh coach in the professional league to win a championship in his rookie year.
The others were Crispa’s Narciso Bernardo in 1984, Shell’s Arlene Rodriguez in 1990, Purefoods’ Chot Reyes in 1993, Eric Altamirano in 1997, and Ryan Gregorio in 2002, and Talk ‘N Text’s Joel Banal in 2003.