Crowd darling Ginebra may be one round closer of finally breaking their championship curse but veteran coach Tim Cone is wary of what lies ahead in their semifinals fortune against sister team San Miguel.
Fresh from gutting out a hard-fought quarterfinal victory over longtime rival Alaska, the Gin Kings faces a big road block ahead as they are set to face defending Governors’ Cup champion San Miguel in a best-of-five semis series starting Monday.
The titanic series showdown between the two SMC franchise will tip-off at 7 p.m inside the historic Smart Araneta Coliseum.
“We know how good SMB is and how tough they’ll be. We just have to see if we can make them uncomfortable and drive them out of their comfort zones,” said Cone in a text message.
Cone recognizes the Beermen’s talent depth that will be ultimate challenge for Ginebra, who finally returned to the Final Four round after eight conferences.
June Mar Fajardo, who leads the MVP race so far, and fit-again veteran forward Arwind Santos are expected to lead San Miguel in their title run anew, not to mention import Elijah Millsap, who want nothing but a PBA title in his return stint.
“They have a lot of weapons to account for, so we’ll have our hands full,” continued the winningest coach in the league. “Still, we have a couple of games to figure them out,” he said.
As for Ginebra, exciting reinforcement Justin Brownlee and surging LA Tenorio will spearhead the charge, while athletic forward Japeth Aguilar needs to step up sans fellow big man Greg Slaughter. – By Jason Mercene