MANILA, Philippines – An all-out, no-holds-barred affair is expected when the Talk 'N Text Tropang Texters and the Barangay Ginebra Kings clash in the do-or-die Game Five of their PBA Commissioner's Cup semi-finals series Sunday night at the Araneta Coliseum.
The crowd-favorite Kings forced a deciding fifth game with a hard-fought 104-101 win in Game Four, and Ginebra coach Alfrancis Chua told PBA.ph that he is expecting his squad to come out strong in Game Five.
"Ganoon pa rin, buhay pa rin ng team ang nakasalalay," Chua said. "Kapag inisip kasi naming na we've already accomplished anything by coming this far, walang mangyayari sa amin."
"Kailangan ang attitude pa rin naman, patay kung patay," he added.
The series, already a physical affair, took an ill-tempered turn during an eventful Game Four which saw both camps accuse each other of using dirty tactics.
Chua said some TNT players took "cheap shots" against import Vernon Macklin, who was allegedly punched, hit in the groin area and headbutted during Game Four.
But TNT officials shot back that their import, Tony Mitchell, was also the victim of "mixed martial arts" moves.
"They were grabbing, holding and shoving Tony," said one TNT official.
Macklin wound up with 37 points and 12 rebounds in Game Four, and received help from JayJay Helterband, LA Tenorio, Chris Ellis and Kerby Raymundo.
Mitchell, meanwhile, scored 45 points to go along with 11 rebounds, but Ranidel de Ocampo was the only other Texter in double figures, with 12 points.
The winner of tonight's clash will go on to face the Alaska Aces in the Commissioner's Cup finals. Alaska dethroned defending champion San Mig Coffee in their own semis series.
Game time is at 6:15 p.m.