Magnolia, Kings clash
Game Today (Ynares Center, Antipolo City) 6:30 p.m. – Ginebra vs Magnolia
Barangay Ginebra San Miguel and Magnolia are bracing for a battle of wits right from the onset when they start their best-of-five PBA Governors' Cup semifinal tonight at the Ynares Center in Antipolo City. Though they almost encountered little problems in their lone elimination round battle, the Kings see themselves dealing with a more-determined Hotshots squad in the series opener set before an expected big crowd at 6:30 p.m.
Ginebra beat Magnolia, 93-86, last Oct. 28 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum to extend its winning streak in their Manila Clasico foe to seven consecutive games. Kings guard LA Tenorio, however, expects Magnolia to come out with a better showing in the series. “It's going to be a chess match,” Tenorio declared. “Magnolia will come out really aggressive against us, knowing that we have their numbers.”
It will be the first time Ginebra
and Magnolia will meet in the semis since the 2017 Philippine Cup.
In that series, the Kings recovered from a 3-2 deficit to beat the former Star Hotshots in seven games.
That setback is probably in the back of the minds of Magnolia, which aims to make the finals for the second time this season.
It is Magnolia's fifth semis in six conferences under coach Chito Victolero, but the Hotshots are hoping to turn things around this time.
Ian Sangalang is eager to atone for his disappointing showing against Ginebra in the elims when he failed to score a single point.
He did get his confidence back last Tuesday when he scored 18 points in the Hotshots' quarterfinal win over the Blackwater Elite, including a pair of key baskets in the three minutes.
ROMEO Travis By JONAS TERRADO