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    San Miguel eyes sweep of Alaska in Antipolo for return to finals

    Jul 20, 2018
    Renaldo Balkman and Diamon Simpson lead their respective clubs once again.
    PHOTO: Jerome Ascano

    SAN Miguel goes for a sweep of the PBA Commissioner’s Cup semifinals in Game Three against Alaska on Friday night at the Ynares Center in Antipolo.

    Game Three is set at 7 p.m. as it will finally push through after the postponement of the match last Wednesday due to the rainy weather.

    The Beermen came one win away from a return trip to the finals after a 105-94 win over the Aces last Monday at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum. Delivering the goods for San Miguel was Renaldo Balkman, who had 31 points and 15 rebounds on their way to a comeback from 16 points down.

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    San Miguel coach Leo Austria said the Beermen will do everything to complete the sweep on Friday to give his players rest before the finals series.

    “We're not thinking of sweep but of course 'yung game namin, wala kaming magagawa kung mananalo kami,” said Austria. “That's a sweep. But sweep or kahit Game 5 'yan, kung mananalo kami, masaya na rin kami. But if we have a chance to sweep it, it's a big advantage because everybody is really tired because in the past two weeks, we never have a day off.”

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    The Aces lost despite 19-point efforts by Diamon Simpson and Simon Enciso. Vic Manuel also did his part, scoring 16 points despite being saddled with foul troubles in Game Two.

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    Alaska coach Alex Compton and his wards will look to extend the series, and he assured the Aces will do everything to beat the powerhouse Beermen squad. Chris Banchero remained doubtful for Game Three, while Calvin Abueva is suspended by the squad and not expected to show up for the game.

    “We’re missing some pieces,” Compton said. “If we’re complete, we’re not the favorites. We’re missing some pieces, but we’re gonna fight. We’re gonna play hard and I just wanna see that same level of passion.”

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    Renaldo Balkman and Diamon Simpson lead their respective clubs once again.
    PHOTO: Jerome Ascano
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