MANILA, Philippines – James Yap and the San Mig Super Coffee Mixers know they will have to match the intensity of the Barangay Ginebra Kings if they want to wrap up their best-of-seven PBA Philippine Cup semi-finals series in Game 6 on Monday night.
Yap was the hero for San Mig in Game 5, as the former league MVP drilled a triple with 13.4 seconds left that proved to be the game-winner. The Mixers won the game, 79-76, to take a pivotal 3-2 lead in the series.
They can close out the series Monday at the Araneta Coliseum, but Yap told PBA.ph that they are expecting a tough contest especially against a Ginebra squad that takes pride in its “never-say-die” attitude.
“Ganoon naman talaga pag semis. Ine-expect ko na ‘yung ganoong games kasi walang gustong magpatalo, kasi ang hirap makarating dito,” said Yap.
“Alam naman natin ang Ginebra, hindi magpapatalo ‘yan,” he added. “Hindi sila tatawaging ‘never say die’ kung wala silang napatunayan. Kaya kami, handa pa rin kami.”
Meanwhile, even with his team’s collective backs against the wall, Ginebra coach Ato Agustin still sees some positives in their loss in Game 5.
“Nakita naman, close game pa rin,” said Agustin.
Ginebra actually still had a chance to force an overtime, but star point guard LA Tenorio curiously drove for a lay-up – that he missed – instead of going for a three-pointer with seven seconds remaining.
Agustin, however, pointed to their 24 turnovers as the primary reason for their loss. “We just have to play smart, especially sa endgame,” he said.
Already waiting in the Finals are the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters, who defeated the Petron Blaze Boosters in five games in the other semi-finals series.
Game time is at 8 p.m.