EXPECT fireworks as San Mig Coffee and Petron battle in the very last game of the season, with the PBA Governors Cup Finals down to a Game Seven on Friday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
The Mixers believe they were merely stalled in their rise to the top when they failed to close out the series in Game Six, and are upbeat they will emerge the winner over their sister team.
SMC fought back from 16-point third quarter deficit and took an 86-85 lead midway in the final period, before being held to just a field goal from there in bowing to the Boosters, 88-99, on Wednesday.
The loss prevented San Mig from chalking up the franchise’s 10th league title, but Cone likes his chances.
“Both teams have been slugging it out the whole series so going to Game Seven is a fitting end,” said Cone after team practice on Thursday.
“We’re asking our guys to just embrace the whole experience and enjoy the ride. We like our chances,” he added.
San Mig’s sophomore point guard Mark Barroca said the team’s vast championship experience will come into play, noting that they will be playing in their third Game Seven in two years. Then wearing the colors of B-Meg, Barroca and Co. won the Commissioner’s Cup over TNT and lost in the Governors’ Cup finals to Rain or Shine.
“Sinasabi ko sa kanila (Mixers), mas advantage kami dahil marami na kaming ganitong playoffs na laro kaya itong Game Seven puwedeng sa amin pa ito,” said Barroca, who was scoreless in Game Six after running into early foul trouble.
For Petron coach Gee Abanilla, playing in Game Seven gives the team one last opportunity to complete its mission for this season.
“So it’s Game Seven for the Finals. It’s a treat for the players and coaches to be in a situation like this and again, it’s all for the marbles.
“We’re gonna give our best effort to represent the organization well.”
Both teams have injured players heading into Game Seven.
San Mig forward Marc Pingris hurt his left ankle late in Game Six, but is expected to play through pain, while Petron’s starting playmaker Alex Cabagnot is nursing a tear on his plantar fascia on his right foot, and import Elijah Millsap has a left ankle injury.