Someone asked me how my blog and newspaper column came to be titled "Bleachers Brew". It's like this, it's an amalgam of sorts of two things: The bleachers area in the stadium/arena where I used to sit when I would watch baseball, football, and basketball games and Miles Davis' great jazz album Bitches Brew. That's how it got culled together. I originally planned on calling it "The View from the Big Chair" that is a nod to Tears For Fear's second album, Songs from the Big Chair. So there.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

PBA Governos' Cup Finals The last game: familiar territory

This appears on the PBA website

The last game: familiar territory
by rick olivares pic by nuki sabio

So the Governors’ Cup Finals has come to its final game. After Rain or Shine staved off defeat and a Grand Slam celebration by San Mig Super Coffee with a 88-79 win in Game Four it is now down to one for the ages.

Will the Elasto Painters become the biggest party poopers and celebrate their second PBA title or will Mixers go down as arguably one of the best if not most resilient PBA champions in history.

Before we look at the possibilities of Game Five, let’s take a look at how San Mig has handled adversity in the last four conferences.

2012-13 Season
Governors Cup
6-3 Eliminations
1-1  Quarterfinals (twice to beat advantage) win over Alaska
3-1 Semifinals win over Meralco
4-3 Finals win over Petron Blaze

2013-14 Season
Philippine Cup
7-7 Eliminations
2-1 Quarterfinals win over Talk ‘N Text
4-3 Semifinals win over Barangay Ginebra San Miguel
4-2 Finals win over Rain or Shine

Commissioner’s Cup
4-5 Eliminations
2-1 Quarterfinals win over Alaska
3-2 Semifinals win over Air21
3-1 Finals win over Talk ‘N Text

Governors’ Cup
5-4 Eliminations
1-0  Quarterfinals (twice to beat advantage) win over San Miguel
3-2 Semifinals win over Talk ‘N Text
2-2 Finals with Rain or Shine

San Mig in the last four conferences has been 7-0 in the last game of a series.

When losing the penultimate match of the series, this San Mig team has gone down by an average of 6.3 points.

Seven times has San Mig gone to the final match of a series and in that last match they won by double digits four times and by an average of 11.8 points in closing out a series.

How huge is that end game experience? This team is used to climbing out of holes. In this past season, they haven’t had the most sparkling of elimination round records but come the playoffs, they kicked it up several notches higher in dispatching higher seeds.

Since the 2011-12 season when Tim Cone arrived after a lengthy (and that is an understatement) stint with Alaska, his B-Meg/San Mig teams have taken on the last PBA titlists and prevented them from becoming dynasties.

Cone’s San Mig teams are 4-0 in a playoff series with Talk ‘N Text. They are also 2-1 against Alaska. However, against Rain or Shine, they are 1-2 in a series.

The Elasto Painters have the size, depth, athleticism, and the shooters to battle San Mig that is why they make for an interesting playoff match up.

RoS is 1-0 when their series with B-Meg/San Mig goes to a final match. In a six-game series, it is at an even, 1-1. They aren’t one bit cowed by San Mig’s endgame or series-clinching experience.

So this Game Five for the Governors’ Cup will be interesting for many reasons of which the Grand Slam is the most importance.

It will be interesting to see if Rain or Shine can continue its kontrapelo status against Tim Cone’s teams or if the Super Coffee Mixers can go 8-0 in closing out a series.

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