PBA Philippine Cup

San Miguel hopes to end semis trend vs TNT in do-or-die Game 7

Delfin Dioquino
San Miguel hopes to end semis trend vs TNT in do-or-die Game 7

Mo Tautuaa of the San Miguel Beermen. PBA Images

PBA Images

San Miguel seeks to beat TNT in back-to-back games for the first time in the PBA Philippine Cup as it eyes a sixth all-Filipino finals appearance over the last seven seasons

The trend has to end.

Head coach Leo Austria has his fingers crossed that San Miguel will be able to flip the script after they dragged TNT to a do-or-die Game 7 in their PBA Philippine Cup semifinals duel.

No team has won back-to-back matches in the series, with San Miguel following the pattern with a 103-90 win in Game 6 on Friday, October 15.

“I hope the trend does not continue – win, lose, win, lose, win, lose,” said Austria in a mix of Filipino and English.

“Even the team is wondering why this is happening. Maybe because of the preparation of both teams, because we do not want to lose two in a row.”

It has been a roller-coaster semifinals affair.

The first two games were decided by a single possession, with TNT drawing first blood with an 89-88 escape and San Miguel equalizing following a come-from-behind 98-96 thriller.

Four double-digit wins followed as the Tropang Giga took Games 3 and 5 by 17 and 20 points, respectively, while the Beermen nailed Games 4 and 6 by 26 and 13 points, respectively.

Austria, though, anticipates a neck-and-neck war in the rubber match.

“I’m expecting it will be a very tight game from start to finish because everything is at stake,” Austria said.

As San Miguel eyes a sixth all-Filipino finals appearance over the last seven seasons, Austria said their inside and outside game have to click at the same time just like in Game 6.

With big man Mo Tautuaa frolicking inside the paint and finishing with a game-high 24 points, Marcio Lassiter snapped out of his shooting slump by hitting 5 three-pointers in a 19-point performance.

“We need a lot of energy because we all know that Talk ‘N Text is really trying to speed up the game because of their fresh legs,” Austria said. “But in our case, we have to be smart, and that was what happened.”

Game 7 is scheduled on Sunday, October 17. – Rappler.com