SMB, Ginebra renew rivalry

The grudge match is on .Top seed San Miguel Beer and No. 4 Barangay Ginebra renew their heated rivalry as they embark on another chapter in their storied journey in the opening of their best-of-seven semifinals in the 2018 Philippine Basketball Association Philippine Cup.

Barangay Ginebra guard Sol Mercado (3) protects the basketball against San Miguel Beer counterpart Brian Heruela. PBA
Drawing first blood will be the priority of both squads as they open hostilities with Game 1 tonight at 7 p.m. at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

This colossal battle ahead will serve as a rematch of last season’s Philippine Cup finals and Governors’ Cup quarterfinals.

While San Miguel claimed its third straight All-Filipino trophy last year at the expense of Ginebra, the Gin Kings bounced back in the third conference and eliminated the Beermen, denying them of a coveted Grand Slam.

Now, it’s a new story to be written and both teams are looking forward to another exciting playoff.

“It’s the semifinals and it will always be tough, especially against Barangay Ginebra,” said San Miguel coach Leo Austria. “They beat us last conference and we’re hoping to be better this time for us to get to the finals.”

“We’re looking forward to have a great series. San Miguel will always be great and will always be tough to play but we’re looking forward to the challenge,” said Ginebra coach Tim Cone. “We’re looking forward to having a good series with them and see how we do.”

Both teams were impressive in the quarterfinals. They look ready for their heavyweight match ahead.

Only needing a win to get to the final four, San Miguel routed TNT KaTropa, 106-93, last Tuesday.  Ginebra defeated Rain or Shine three straight times in a span of one week to make it this far.

Loaded with talent from top to bottom, expect a barn-burner of a series as the four-peat seeking Beermen and the aspiring Gin Kings are expected to go far in this round.

Topics: San Miguel Beer , Barangay Ginebra , 2018 Philippine Basketball Association Philippine Cup , semifinals , Leo Austria , Tim Cone
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