Mag­no­lia, Kings clash

Game To­day (Ynares Cen­ter, An­tipolo City) 6:30 p.m. – Gine­bra vs Mag­no­lia

Tempo - - Front Page -

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.


JUSTIN Brown­lee

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