San Mig, RoS break deadlock in critical Game 3 tonight
MANILA, Philippines - Who will take the series edge?
After defeating the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters on Sunday, 80-70, the San Mig Super Coffee Mixers will try to go for the upper hand when they collide tonight (8 p.m.) at the Smart Araneta Coliseum for Game 3 of the PLDT Home DSL PBA Philippine Cup Finals.
With the Painters' Ryan Araña out for 2 to 3 games with a sprained shoulder ligament, the Mixers will try to capitalize. Coach Yeng Guiao's boys will look to seize back the momentum sans one of their key guys.
What went right for San Mig: The Mixers used their hard-nosed defense to win it, clogging the lanes and disallowing their opponents from making easy baskets. They grounded Rain or Shine to just 24 1st half points while sustaining the lead for most of the way.
What went wrong for Rain or Shine: Jervy Cruz and Beau Belga, who conspired for 30 points in Game 1, were limited to just 15 in Game 2. Jeff Chan was the lone bright spot with 18 points on 4 triples but the entire team struggled, shooting just 37.2% from the field.
Keys to victory
San Mig: The players of coach Tim Cone must continue showing the defense that they're known for. Comparing Games 1 and 2, it's a 13-point difference as far as points allowed is concerned. They've shown before that defense can win championships and that's exactly what they should accomplish tonight.
Rain or Shine: The Elasto Painters will need more offensive support to improve their chances of winning. Paul Lee has been relatively quiet (7 PPG); Guaio's other backcourt guys like Chris Tiu, Jireh Ibañes, and TY Tang should step up their games espcially with Araña sidelined. They should also keep playing physical to outdo the Mixers.
San Mig: Ian Sangalang
This season's second overall pick notched 10 points and grabbed 6 boards in 22 minutes of exposure for the Mixers, a big boost for Cone; the rookie big man must continue his stellar play on both sides of the floor.
Rain or Shine: Gabe Norwood
With one of the Painters' wing men down, somebody must step up. And Gilas stalwart Gabe Norwood should show he's one fine wing guy. He won't score that much but he must make an impact on other aspects of the game, just like what Araña does for the team.
What this game means: Just how important is this game for both squads? As far as PBA finals history is concerned, 62% of teams who won Game 3 after a 1-1 deadlock went on to win the best-of-7 series. The race is on between San Mig and Rain or Shine. - Rappler.com