With momentum swinging, San Miguel eyes 2-1 series lead v Ginebra

With the PBA Governors Cup series reduced to a virtual best-of-three affair, San Miguel head coach Leo Austria looks forward to winning another tough “chess match” against Ginebra veteran mentor Tim Cone in Game 3 on Friday.

The two San Miguel Corp. sister teams figured in a down-the-wire action so far in their first 2 games. 

The Kings took the series opener behind their never-say-die spirit, coming back from a 12-point deficit at the half to claim a 115-108 victory.

READ: Brownlee, Mercado lead charge as Ginebra shoots down SMB in Game 1

The Beermen got off to a quick start once more in Game 2, lost their 17-point lead in the fourth quarter, before hanging tough in the endgame to fashion out a 95-92 win on Wednesday.

“Parang chess match ito,” said Austria, whose team squares off with Ginebra at 7 p.m.  at the Smart Araneta Coliseum. “We’ve learned our lesson from Game 1 because there are so many lapses defensively (in the first 2 games).”

Shifting to a 10-man line-up after only using eight  in Game 1, Austria got a better result as stars like June Mar Fajardo and Alex Cabagnot were still able to deliver at crunch time.

READ: SMB survives late Ginebra fightback, ties Govs Cup series at 1-1

But as they head to the halfway point of the series, Austria hopes his wards will gain enough footing to counter the Kings’ assault.

“I hope Game 2 win can give us the momentum, but it’s really hard because we keep on adjusting,” he continued.

But it will not an easy road for SMB as Ginebra, now playing confidently under Cone, is very much capable of reversing the tide altogether. – Jason Mercene

Follow this writer on Twitter: @JasonMercenePH


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