IT'S just Game Five of the semifinals but from the looks of it, it's more like the deciding match of the PBA Governors Cup finals.
Just a few hours before defending champion San Miguel and crowd favorite Barangay Ginebra tangle in a sudden-death for the last finals berth of the season-ending conference, all paid seats at the Smart Araneta Coliseum had already been sold out.
And to think the 7 p.m. game falls on a Tuesday.
League media bureau chief Willie Marcial refused to declare it a total soldout prior to tipoff even though SRO tickets are the only remaining tickets being sold at the gates.
"Usually we reserved yung general admission and some sitting tickets during game day para doon sa mga walk-in crowd," he said. "Pero puro SRO n lang lahat ang natira."
Game Four on Sunday drew a total crowd of 22,196 fans who witnessed the Beermen blow away the Kings, 101-72, to knot the series at 2-2 at the Big Dome.
The crowd was the second biggest in a season where the league's gate attendance has dipped considerably. Only Game Seven between San Miguel and Alaska during the Philippine Cup Finals has drawn a bigger audience this season.
Marcial isn't about to count the chicks before it is hatched, but is hopeful the showdown between two of the league's most popular teams will be among the biggest box-office hits in the season about to end.
"Sana nga," said the longtime league official.
Winner of the match will face Meralco in the best-of-seven finals starting on Friday.