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Cone, Ginebra brace for "monstrous" SMB as semis begins

Japeth Aguilar will carry the load inside for Ginebra. PBA Media Bureau (file photo)
By Ivan Saldajeno

LOS BANOS--After surviving what Coach Tim Cone thought is "the hardest series to win," Ginebra is going up against San Miguel at the start of the PBA Philippine Cup semifinals on Friday night.

And Cone has one word to describe the Beermen--or maybe only ace big man Junemar Fajardo.

"We'll face the monster. You can refer that to San Miguel or to Junemar, but we got them coming up," Cone said ahead of Game 1 of the best-of-seven series at the Smart Araneta Coliseum set for a 7 p.m. tip-off.

It is actually a rematch of last year's finals, where SMB needed only five games to beat Ginebra for the title, its third straight for the said conference.

"It's San Miguel. What can you say? They've won three championships in a row in this conference for a reason," continued Cone, citing the Beermen's late push en route to the quarterfinal win against the TNT KaTropa on Tuesday night.

[Related Story: SMB bags first semis seat after ousting TNT]

Fajardo scorched for 35 points in the game, making many think that the Barangay may need the help of Greg Slaughter to help contain him inside.

However, Cone said that Greg Slaughter, who suffered an ankle injury last week during practice, is unlikely to play in the semis opener, but he clarified, "We do expect him back some time in the series."

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno