Alaska tries to finish San Miguel off in Game 5 match up.The Alaska Milk Aces need not be told a match beyond Game Five would be fraught with danger.
They know that the longer they let the series go, the more they’re exposing themselves to risk of ruin.
Denied of a sweep Sunday, the Aces take a second attempt at finishing off the San Miguel Beermen Wednesday in Game Five of their Smart Bro PBA Philippine Cup best-of-seven title series at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
The Beermen, meanwhile, will again be out to dodge the knockout blow and extend the series.
Tip off is at 7 p.m.
Alaska coach Alex Compton said their sweep bid vanished in the air as they suffered “fundamental breakdown” allowing the Beermen to score breakaway layups at crunch time in Game Four at the Philsports Arena in Pasig.
“We’ve got to come back and be better,” said Compton.
“Chris Ross getting layups killed us. It’s fundamental breakdown. It can’t happen. We have to be better,” Compton insisted.
The Alaska bench chieftain expects the Beermen to be tougher and better with the two-day rest.
“I wish we could play them (the morning after Game Four) but we play them Wednesday. They will have their veteran players rested for Wednesday,” he said.
“I don’t know if you thought I was kidding but they’re such a tough team with a bunch of winners. It’s not easy to sweep anybody. It’s not going to be easy on Wednesday. I just want to try to come out of this championship series with the title,” he added.
SMB coach Leo Austria, for his part, is hoping they will be able to stoke the fire of their Game Four triumph on Wednesday game 5 Smart Araneta Coliseum.
They try to further stretch the series as they’re even looking far ahead — a deciding Game Seven
“Give us a Game Seven, and he (Fajardo) will play,” Austria told his players shortly before Game Four.
In response, San Miguel Beer stalled Alaska’s championship drive, waging a huge fight from 11 points down in the last three minutes of regulation play and living on in overtime to pull off a dramatic 110-104 win.
Marcio Lassiter top scored with 26 points, Gabby Espinas came through with a double-double game with 21 markers and 14 rebounds and Arwind Santos had his mini double-double with 11 points and 12 rebounds.
Then there were clutch plays by Chris Ross, Alex Cabagnot and Yancy de Ocampo as the Beermen lived to fight another game.
“The players accepted the challenge. They didn’t want to be swept away. I hope we’re able to sustain the momentum in the next game,” said Austria.