PBA Finals: San Miguel head coach expects war against sister team Ginebra

enablePagination: false
maxItemsPerPage: 10
maxPaginationLinks: 10

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, July 24) — Two teams which once were at the tailend of the standings find themselves battling for the tournament's top prize.

Barangay Ginebra San Miguel and the San Miguel Beermen will dispute the Commissioner's Cup crown beginning Friday at the Araneta Coliseum.

The Beermen started the conference with a 0-3 record, while Ginebra had a 1-5 slate.

San Miguel head coach Leo Austria said they are expecting a good fight when they go to battle against their sister team.

"It will be an interesting matchup. Every time we play each other, it's always a war," Austria told CNN Philippines.

Both the Gin Kings and the Beermen are under San Miguel Corporation.

The seven game series features a number of marquee matchups.

In the backcourt, Ginebra's LA Tenorio and Scottie Thompson will go head to head with Alex Cabagnot and Chris Ross. While Greg Slaughter and Japeth Aguilar will have their hands full against reigning 4-time MVP JuneMar Fajardo in the battle of behemoths.

Expect tough competition from Renaldo Balkman and Justin Brownlee as they try to lead their respective squads to victory after successfully leading San Miguel Alab Pilipinas with the ABL title.

"It's 50-50," Austria said when asked on who has the advantage on the matchups.

"Our players always want to win. It will depend pa din pag dating ng game. How prepared we are or how prepared they are," he added.

But he sees a slight advantage on their opponents who have won ten of their last eleven games.

"They are playing with fluidity. They have a slight edge because of the current streak that they are in." he said.

The Beermen will surely put up a good fight as they try to defend the Commissioner's Cup title and get their second title this season.

"Ginebra is really determined to win the series, but in our case we have the pride to defend our title. I can see in my players that they are glad to be back in the finals," he said.

Austria has six championships as head coach in the PBA and has never lost in the finals.