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PBA Philippine Cup Finals Game 7: 8 Questions That Will Finally Be Answered

Beer or milk? Who will win the Battle of the Kapampangans? Which x-factor is stronger: Vic "Muscle Man" Manuel or Doug "Biceps" Kramer? All these and more will be answered in tomorrow's Game 7!
by Voltaire Lozada | Jan 20, 2015
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While Pope Francis was busy raining God's blessings and words of religious wisdom on our country, one of the most intense PBA Finals matchups in recent years set the stage for a winner-take-all Game 7.

The Alaska Aces and San Miguel Beermen probably heard Lolo Kiko’s message about mercy and compassion, but they’re clearly setting that aside for this series. The first six games have been filled with comebacks, MMA moves, and high blood pressure, a potent mix for any basketball fan. And if you look at it closely, you'll see that the PBA Philippine Cup Finals is like a heated on-going debate. Arguments and counter-arguments in the form of fierce hardcourt action have been served by both camps, but there's still no clear-cut winner.

As we wait for the balloons to drop and, here are eight questions this raging oncourt tussle has produced, all of which will finally be answered in the final game of the series and the conference.

(Game 7 will be played tomorrow, Wednesday, January 21. The action starts at 7 p.m. inside the Araneta Coliseum, and will be broadcast live over TV5!)


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It’s a question we’ve all wanted to know the answer to since the start of the series. The San Miguel Beer franchise has won a league-leading 19 championships while Alaska has 13 (excluding the 2003 Invitational Cup), good for second together with the Crispa Redmanizers and the Purefoods franchise. Needless to say, both are proud teams with a long and glorious history.

We've been treated to six exciting games so far, and Game 7 will most definitely follow the trend. Who will break their title drought to reclaim their place as the league’s best? We'll know tomorrow evening, fellow hoops fans!


With the way this series has gone in terms of physicality, it’s amazing that we’ve seen a bloody player only once. Maybe the basketball gods have bestowed upon the players some sort of magical invisible armor so they can play on for our pleasure?

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The series has looked more like a wrestling pay-per-view at times. Sam Eman, Erik Menk, Sonny Thoss, and Vic Manuel are playing a handicap match with June Mar Fajardo and Doug Kramer. Arwind Santos and Calvin Abueva are figuring in a no-holds-barred match, with David Semerad’s constant interference. Cyrus Baguio and Dondon Hontiveros are in a tag-team battle with Chris Lutz and Marcio Lassiter.

Here's proof:

Video via PBA ATIN 3

Meanwhile, pretty boys Chris Banchero and Alex Cabagnot are figuring in a dark match (a wrestling match that serves as an appetizer to the main event) to get the crowd pumped up. Heck, even the commentators blurt out Jim Ross-like hyperboles! All we really need now is some girl-on-girl action, a la WWE Divas, and really good entrance music for both teams. Erika Padilla vs. Rizza Diaz, anyone? 


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The Beermen have had great success when they let the Best Player of the Conference loose offensively in the paint, but they let the title slip away from them in Game 6 by throwing long bombs instead of dumping the ball to him in the post.

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As a result, Fajardo scored just nine points in Game 6, his lowest output of the season so far. The reigning MVP did not win his awards registering just nine points and 11 boards per game. Will he respond to arguably his worst outing of this season? In any case, Sonny Thoss and co. will be ready.


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After alternating wins in the first three games, the Beermen were able to pull off back-to-back wins in Games 4 and 5. Alask playmaker JVee Casio failed to make a single field goal in those two games.

The Aces forced a rubber match with the Beermen with an 11-point win in Game 6, with Casio contributing nine points. One plus one is still two, right? You get the drift. So will Game 7 be the point in the series where Casio will tell Hontiveros to sit back because “he gots this”? Okay, so 30 points might be a stretch, but you never know with the kind of streakiness he has.

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Video via PBH

While Fajardo won the Best Player of the Conference plum, two other contenders for the honor are also playing in the series: Pampanga’s own Arwind “Bagyo” Santos and Calvin “The Beast” Abueva. Both are talented ballers (Santos is a former MVP and Abueva is a ROY awardee) and as we all know, are also tough sumbitches.

And what happens when the two face off? Fireworks, friends! Their rivalry has escalated this series to legendary heights, so much so that you might as well call the Finals the "Battle of Pampanga." You would think that magkababayans like them will be more forgiving towards each other. Clearly, that's not the case here. Let's see who will be adjudged as "Pampanga's Best" (tocino not included) come final buzzer.


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Manuel sparked the Aces’ comeback in Game 6 with all of his 12 points coming at very crucial moments. Kramer, meanwhile, has the task of manning the middle while June Mar Fajardo gets some bench time; meaning the better he plays, the more rest "The Kraken" gets. Clearly, the two wide-bodied bangers play huge supporting roles for their teams. Whose muscles will play a bigger role in the shaded lane in Game 7? PBA, banggaan na!


The Cebuano Hotshot made a name for himself playing for the San Miguel franchise, but was traded away not once, but twice by the team. In 2011, the team sent him, along with SMB mainstays Danny Seigle and Dorian Pena (plus Paul Artadi), to Air21 in exchange for that year's top three draft picks (Noy Baclao, Rabeh Al-Hussaini, and Rey Guevarra).

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When that didn’t work out for the Beermen, and after seeing how Hontiveros played a key role in Air21’s postseason run, they brought him back to boost their backcourt. Unfortunately, injuries kept him away from the floor, and they dealt him away again to Alaska in a big trade that also saw LA Tenorio's move to Ginebra and then-rookie JVee Casio to Alaska.

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