San Mig, Ginebra kick off semis showdown

Posted at 01/28/2014 10:59 AM | Updated as of 01/28/2014 12:00 PM

MANILA, Philippines – PBA Philippine Cup semi-finalists San Mig Coffee and Barangay Ginebra are excited to begin their best-of-seven series, with both teams expecting a tough showdown starting Game 1 Tuesday night at the Mall of Asia Arena.

Ginebra head coach Ato Agustin said his squad avidly watched San Mig’s do-or-die game against Talk 'N Text last weekend, and pronounced his players ready for the match-up.

“Pagkatapos noong laro, nag-usap kami at lahat naman nag-agree na kailangan ‘yung energy at intensity level namin mataas, at least matapatan man lang ‘yung sa kabila,” Agustin told PBA.ph. “Semis na ito. No other way.”

“Sa tingin ko naman, handang-handa na ang mga players namin. Maganda ang preparations namin, and we’re all excited to be playing San Mig in these semi-finals,” he said.

San Mig head coach Tim Cone was similarly excited to be playing the top-seeded Kings, who crushed Alaska to make the semi-finals.

“I am stoked, pumped up to be playing Ginebra,” he said.

Agustin is expecting to have a tough time in dealing with the San Mig guards, especially PJ Simon and Mark Barroca, who outplayed their TNT counterparts in the quarter-finals.

“Noong last game namin, pinahirapan kami ni PJ sa third quarter, at kahit sa last game nila against Talk 'N Text, nakita namin kung gaano ka-aggressive sila Barroca at (Marc) Pingris. Kailangan mas aggressive kami, opensa at depensa,” said Agustin.

Ginebra is hoping that high-flying forward Japeth Aguilar can continue his level of play after torching Alaska for 29 points to go along with 15 rebounds and five blocks in their last game.

San Mig, meanwhile, figures to get more production from rookie Justin Melton, who has stepped up as James Yap continues to struggle with an elbow injury.

Game time is at 8 p.m.