A little over a month since their PBA Commissioner's Cup title showdown, Barangay Ginebra and San Miguel Beer clash once again Sunday, both seeking to improve their spots in middle of the chart in the season-ending Governors Cup.
On the same night, San Miguel put on an amazing offensive show in a return from an upset loss, equaling the league record of 23 three-pointers in a game as it clobbered Columbian Dyip, 143-119.
The Kings are at 3-1 while the Beermen are at 2-1 going to their 6:45 p.m. showdown at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Ginebra is still with champion import Justin Brownlee while San Miguel is with AZ Reid after coming up short in the last conference with Renaldo Balkman.
Out in the rematch are Cebuano rival behemoths June Mar Fajardo and Greg Slaughter who are both nursing an injury.
While also missing the services of other injury-hit players Japeth Aguilar, Jervy Cruz, Sol Mercado and Raymond Aguilar, the Kings dropped a 118-124 loss in overtime to the Blackwater Elite Friday night.
"That's the kind of performance we're looking for as we wanted to boost our morale for our game against Ginebra," said San Miguel coach Leo Austria.
Arwind Santos fired seven treys and a total of 29 points while Marcio Lassiter rifled in six triples to spike a 28-point game, leading the Beermen's superb display of firepower that also saw Alex Cabagnot and Von Pessumal drain three three-pointers each, Kelly Nabong two and Brian Heruela and Chris Ross one apiece.
Reid scored only 16 points but produced a triple-double game with 17 rebounds and 11 assists as the Beermen rebounded from a 100-103 loss to the Blackwater Elite on Sept. 5.
"I stressed that at the half. We're No. 1 on offense but our problem is defense. We gave away 66 points in the first half. Fortunately, our offense was superb. The turning point was when we started playing defense in the third," said Austria.
The Kings, meanwhile, came up short versus the Elite, sorely missing the services of Slaughter and Aguilar.
Last month, Ginebra overcame obstacles all conference long with its fortitude, resilience and killer instinct and reigned over San Miguel, 93-77, to claim the PBA Commissioner's Cup championship before a boisterous crowd of nearly 24,000 at the MOA Arena.
Brownlee and Scottie Thompson both churned out a performance to remember and anchored a mighty second-half onslaught that flattened San Miguel and ended the Beermen's unbeaten ride in PBA Finals in the last four years.
The Beermen suffered their first defeat in seven finals under coach Leo Austria. (SB)