MANILA, Philippines – The Petron Blaze Boosters and the San Mig Coffee Mixers are out to claim a crucial 3-2 series edge in tonight’s Game 5 of the PBA Governors Cup Finals at the SMART Araneta Coliseum.
San Mig escaped with an 88-86 victory in Game 4 to tie the series at two games apiece, but not before squandering a 28-point lead and seeing Petron seize the advantage briefly in the final quarter.
“Interestingly enough, even though we won Game 4, it still felt like a loss to us because of our poor second half play,” said San Mig coach Tim Cone in the PBA website. “The good news is that it’s another reminder of how well we have to play to beat Petron.”
“No doubt, we need to go into Game Five firing on all cylinders if we hope to take the lead in this series,” he added.
After winning Game 3 in dominant fashion, Petron got off to a flat start in Game 4 and needed a strong second half effort from import Elijah Millsap and JuneMar Fajardo to claw back into the game.
Millsap fired 33 points to go along with 11 rebounds, while Fajardo was simply dominant with 20 points and 26 rebounds.
But San Mig came away with the victory after PJ Simon, Mark Barroca and Alex Mallari made key free throws in crunch time.
“No excuses,” Petron coach Gee Abanilla said. “We take responsibility for what happened in the last game as a team. Sometimes you win, and sometimes you learn.”
“We just have to take care of business. We have to cherish every moment of the upcoming games and enjoy the ride,” he added.
With the seven-game series now down to a virtual best-of-three, an all-out battle is expected when the game tips off at 4:45 pm this afternoon.