The ongoing PBA Commissioner's Cup Finals between sister teams-slash-bitter rivals the San Miguel Beermen and the Barangay Ginebra San Miguel has proven to be the ultimate rubber match—each side has humiliated the other at least once to make for an interesting series.
The Barangay surprised everyone when it drew first blood in convincing fashion, 127-99, behind a blazing Justin Brownlee (42 points on 17-19 shooting). As expected, the Beermen, led by Alex Cabagnot's career-high 33 markers, tied things up in Game 2 with its own demolition, 134-109.
Brownlee told SPIN.ph, "I'm sure neither team probably expects anybody to win via big margin," and, well, he isn't wrong. If anything, those two blowouts are enough for great coaches like Ginebra's Tim Cone and San Miguel's Leo Austria to make the necessary adjustments, just in time for Wednesday's crucial third meeting.
Wake up, Jeff Chan
The veteran gunner, who
Brownlee can only get you so far
Save for the foul trouble and 13 fewer points, he virtually duplicated his monster Game 1 performance in the next match: 28-33
Dominate the paint
The team statistics were almost identical, but one glaring observation that worked for the Barangay was its inside play on both ends of the floor. In the opening match, 58 of Ginebra's 83 field goal attempts were taken inside the three-point line (as compared to 25 outside) and had eight blocks, compared to 14 two-point attempts short and only a couple of swats in Game 2. It's imperative that their towers assert themselves.
Where is Chris Ross?
If Chan has been misfiring for Ginebra, the two-time Philippine Cup Most Valuable Player has been nonexistent (total of 4 pts 1-7
Use Christian Standhardinger wisely
This year's No. 1 draft pick has been superb in both meetings (23 ppg 18-29
Keep championship composure
Arwind Santos and Ross were thrown out in the last quarter of the last game for a flagrant foul penalty 2 (elbowed Scottie Thompson) and two technicals, respectively. Renaldo Balkman and Standhardinger also had five fouls each, not to mention the two passionately complaining about some of the calls. Every San Miguel player, from June Mar Fajardo to Kelly Nabong, should display that championship mettle and never let their emotions get the best of them.