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CRUCIAL TIFF TO SEND BIG DOME ROCKING

11:03 PM February 07, 2014

San Mig Super Coffee coach Tim Cone aptly puts what is in store at the Big Dome Saturday – “It should be a great game and (the Smart) Araneta (Coliseum) will be rocking.”

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Barangay Ginebra San Miguel and San Mig Super Coffee, engaged in an exciting nip-and-tuck battle yet again, are both expected to shift to high gear as they fight for the pivotal 3-2 lead in their PLDT myDSL PBA Philippine Cup best-of-seven semifinal showdown.

The Kings and the Mixers slug it out in the crucial setto at 3:30 p.m. with the winner putting one foot into the Finals and the loser fighting for survival in the next game.

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The series has been very unpredictable with San Mig Coffee barely escaping with an 85-83 win in Game One, Ginebra coming back strong in Game Two (93-64), the Mixers having their own dominant showing in Game Three (97-89) and the Kings eking out an 85-82 decision in Game Four.

Game Five could be a question of desire as the Kings and the Mixers fight for the go-ahead win in the series nearing end point.

The opposing teams consider this match the most crucial in the series.

“It’s almost the deciding game,” said Ginebra coach Ato Agustin.

“It’s down to a best-of-three, and that make the first game – Game Five – crucial,” said Cone.

“We had our chances in the last game, but we don’t have time for regrets. We just have to focus on what’s in front of us,” Cone also said.

The Mixers had their chance to storm to a 3-1 lead in the series Wednesday, mightily charging back from a 16-point deficit but losing a close game in the end.

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A James Yap three-point shot that rattled off the rim allowed the Kings to pull through and again send the series back to scratch.

With that kind of finish Wednesday, no team could boast of any advantage – momentum or whatever – over the other going to Game Five.

Odds should be about even in this virtual make-or-break faceoff.

Barangay Ginebra went on a rollercoaster ride, soaring and dipping before steadying with the game on the line as the Kings squeezed through in Game Four.

Mac Baracael, the goat in Ginebra’s Game One defeat and missed badly in Game Three because of his banishment on technical fouls, redeemed himself in Game Four, emerging as the key force that helped the Kings through.

Baracael knocked in 4-of-5 three-pointers, 2-of-3 twinners and 4-of-4 charities for 20 points, and, at the finish, shackled down James Yap as the Kings survived a long cold spell in the second half and still pulled through after losing a big 16-point lead. (SB)

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