POWERADE has never come this close. Not for a very long time.
That is why expect the Tigers to go all-out against Rain or Shine Sunday as they try to end a long wait and make the Finals of the PBA Philippine Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
By winning Game 5 via a thrilling 110-108 count, Powerade took a 3-2 lead in the best-of-seven
semifinal duel and moved on the threshold of making its first championship series since – as
Coca-Cola – it bolted from the San Miguel Corp. group in 2004.
“There’s nothing much more to be said,” related Tigers coach Bo Perasol. “All my players
know they need to pull out all stops Sunday to make our collective dream a reality.”
It could have been the other way around. Rain or Shine had the chance to win with a six-point lead
in the last 104 seconds of the game but broke down in the face of Powerade’s fiery windup.
A Marcio Lassiter block on Larry Rodriguez and misses by Jeffrei Chan and Beau Belga inside the last
10 seconds sealed the Elasto Painters’ failure to follow up on their 110-95 victory in Game 4.
The E-Painters have the tools and also the burning determination to force a deciding game on
Wednesday, but there is this series trend that Powerade has on its side. After losing the opener,
97-114, the Tigers won the next two games.
Perasol is not so sure in that aspect.
“The series is not yet over,” he stressed. “What just happened was, we put ourselves closer to
making the Finals. That is too far away if we’re not going to play defensively.”
Making stops should indeed be the key.
In Game 5, Rain or Shine shot better from the floor, 41-for-86 to 36-for-96, but made the shots that
mattered more in the end.
Gary David saw his amazing streak of scoring at least 30 in a game snapped at six, but Jayvee Casio
and Lassiter made up with 25 and 19, respectively. Lassiter also added 11 rebounds while Doug Kramer
added 10 and 10. (NC)