San Miguel Beer and TNT KaTropa fight for a 3-2 cushion in Game 5 of the best-of-seven finals series of Season 44 Philippine Basketball Association Commissioner’s Cup tonight at the Araneta Coliseum.

The Beermen are coming from a 106-101 victory in Game 4 last Sunday, a just a few hours after Jayson Castro and Terrence Jones of TNT swept the individual awards as they won the Best Player of the Conference and Best Import awards, respectively.

After tying the series to 2-2, coach Leo Austria of San Miguel Beer said they would do everything to get back-to-back wins in their 7 p.m. encounter with the KaTropa.

pba20190814 - SMB, TNT battle for 3-2 series lead
San Miguel Beer’s June Mar Fajardo goes for a lay-up during Game 4 of the best-of-seven finals of Season 44 PBA Commissioner’s Cup while TNT’s Troy Rosario watches on Sunday at the Araneta Coliseum. PBA MEDIA BUREAU PHOTO

“The momentum is on our side. So with the series tied at 2-2, everything is back to zero, it’s a best of three, so we really need to work harder and map out a good game plan on Wednesday. I know they (TNT) will come back,” said Austria.

Import Chris McCullough scored 10 of his 27 points in the third period in addition to his 22 rebounds and June Mar Fajardo added 10 of his 22 points also in that quarter to lead the Beermen. Alex Cabagnot and Von Pessumal scored 25 and 14 points, respectively, also for San Miguel Beer.

“I hope next game we are still able to get the win and follow our game plan,” said Fajardo in Filipino.

Jones and the rest of the KaTropa are expected to make the necessary adjustments into Game 5.

“I guess we just have to play harder and tougher especially on defense. It’s now a best-of-three series and anybody’s ballgame. We just have to play all out,” TNT coach Bong Ravena, who drew 32 points, 16 rebounds, six assists and six steals from Jones last game.

Troy Rosario finished with 18 points while Jayson Castro had 17 points and Don Trollano added 16 in Game 4 loss.

Despite the defeat, Ravena said the game turned out so well in Game 4.

“That’s a very smooth game the other day,” he said.


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