MANILA, Philippines – San Miguel and Barangay Ginebra slug it out for the 2018 PBA Commissioner’s Cup championship in a battle between two of the league’s most storied squads.
Supremacy is at stake when the San Miguel Corporation sister teams meet in a best-of-7 title series starting Friday, July 27, at the Araneta Coliseum.
San Miguel, which has gone 6-of-6 in the finals in the last 10 conferences, vies to extend its championship streak as it targets a 26th PBA title in franchise history.
Ginebra, meanwhile, guns for its 3rd championship in the last 6 conferences and 11th overall.
In their last title showdown, the Beermen made quick work of the Gin Kings in 5 games of their best-of-7 duel for the 2016 Philippine Cup crown.
But that was a series where Ginebra giant Greg Slaughter did not play due to injury.
This time, the Gin Kings have someone to match the Beermen star and reigning 4-time league Most Valuable Player June Mar Fajardo. (READ: Giants collide as June Mar Fajardo, Greg Slaughter renew finals rivalry)
The last time the two teams faced in a series where both Fajardo and Slaughter played, Ginebra eliminated San Miguel in the 2017 Governors' Cup quarterfinals en route to winning the championship.
Both teams have also been beefed up by two of the best imports in recent years in Justin Brownlee and Renaldo Balkman.
Brownlee has a chance to win his 3rd PBA title since he started playing for Ginebra in 2016 while Balkman has a shot at redemption with the Beermen after the lifetime ban slapped on him in 2013 was lifted this season.
The series will also see two of the best basketball minds in Tim Cone and Leo Austria go on game of tactics.
Cone is the winningest mentor in PBA history with 20 championships while Austria, who won Coach of the Year in the last 3 years, is the only tactician to pull off the feat.
Here is the full schedule of the games:
Get blow-by-blow updates through Rappler's live blog below:
Game 1: Ginebra vs SMB - Curated tweets by RapplerSports