Manila Bulletin

Gine­bra eyes win No. 3

Shock­troop­ers ex­pected to step up anew vs Mer­alco

- By JONAS TERRADO Sports · College Sports · Manila Electric Company · Barangay Ginebra San Miguel · Philippine Basketball Association · Blackwater Elite · Los Angeles · Scottie Thompson · Alaska · Angeles University Foundation · NLEX Road Warriors · Norman Black

(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.

 ??  ?? San Miguel Beer’s Ter­rence Romeo holds his right shoul­der af­ter get­ting hurt in a col­li­sion with TNT’s Ryan Reyes in the sec­ond quar­ter of their PBA Philip­pine Cup game Fri­day at the AUF Gym pow­ered by Smart 5G. TNT won 107-88, with Romeo later ruled out for the rest of the bub­ble. (PBA Images)
San Miguel Beer’s Ter­rence Romeo holds his right shoul­der af­ter get­ting hurt in a col­li­sion with TNT’s Ryan Reyes in the sec­ond quar­ter of their PBA Philip­pine Cup game Fri­day at the AUF Gym pow­ered by Smart 5G. TNT won 107-88, with Romeo later ruled out for the rest of the bub­ble. (PBA Images)

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