Ginebra eyes win No. 3
Shocktroopers expected to step up anew vs Meralco
(AUF Gym powered by Smart 5G) 4 p.m. — Blackwater vs NorthPort 6:45 p.m. — Ginebra vs Meralco
Barangay Ginebra San Miguel goes for a third consecutive victory and a share of the lead with idle TNT when it takes on familiar foe Meralco tonight in the PBA Philippine Cup at the Angeles University Foundation Sports and Cultural Center.
Ginebra seeks to remain unbeaten at 6:45 p.m. in its first meeting with Meralco since mid-January when it captured a third PBA Governors’ Cup championship in the last four years, all at the expense of the Bolts.
The Kings opened the bubble with back-to-back triumphs, defeating the NLEX Road Warriors 102-92 the previous Sunday and surviving the Blackwater Elite 103-99 last Thursday.
Coach Tim Cone described having a 2-0 record inside the bubble “as a bonus” since bubble latecomers LA Tenorio and Japeth Aguilar, two of Ginebra’s premier players, are way behind their fitness level.
Tenorio has logged only a total of 19 minutes and scored just a single point in the two games since he’s still recovering from an appendectomy procedure done several weeks ago while Aguilar registered an average of 9.0 points and 3.0 rebounds.
“It’s obvious to everyone that they are not 100 percent, they came in late. That’s been probably our biggest adjustment and the guys got to step up,” said Cone.
But the likes of Stanley Pringle and Scottie Thompson have been consistent while Aljon Mariano and Prince Caperal were adjudged as Player of the Game in the two wins.
Caperal fired a career-high 24 points on five threes as he was able to fill the void left by Aguilar and free agent Greg Slaughter.
Meralco is carrying a 1-1 record after a 93-81 victory over Alaska last Wednesday.
Bolts coach Norman Black is hoping for more consistency from Allein Maliksi and Baser Amer while center Raymond Almazan plays Ginebra for the first time since injuring his knee in the Finals.
Blackwater (1-1) and NorthPort, out to arrest a 0-2 start, clash in the first game at 4 p.m.