‘Whale of a game’

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‘Whale of a game’

Post by Ginebra Tambayan on Fri Mar 30, 2012 9:56 am

‘Whale of a game’

Written by : Zean Macamay



Games today: (Cuneta Astrodome)

5:15 p.m. -- Powerade vs. Meralco
7:30 p.m. -- B-Meg vs. Ginebra


GINEBRA relies heavily on defense to win.

But in the only time the Kings confronted their sister team B-Meg in the elimination round, the thing they do best failed to click.

Given a second chance, Ginebra now hopes it can shut down B-Meg’s firepower for good.

“It will be interesting how our defense will hold up against a team loaded with firepower like B-Meg,” said Kings’ coach Siot Tanquingcen.

Ginebra and B-Meg collide tonight to dispute the second outright semi-finals berth in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup at the Cuneta Astrodome.

Powerade and Meralco likewise face off in their own do-or-die encounter, the winner moving on to the quarter-finals with the loser bidding goodbye to the conference.

The Kings are currently on a three-game winning spree, yet the last time they absorbed a defeat, it was the Llamados who dealt them their only third loss in the tournament, a 109-93 demolition last March 11.

It was an outcome where the Kings’ defense became suspect. They failed to contain B-Meg import Denzel Bowles, who came away with 27 points and 15 rebounds, and local talents’ PJ Simon and Mark Barroca, who each had 18 points.

Llamados’ mentor Tim Cone realizes the significance of the contest, with the winner joining defending champion Talk‘N Text as early semi-finalists.

The Tropang Texters qualified to the best-of-five Final Four after trampling rival Petron, 107-80, the other night.

“It should be a whale of a game,” Cone said. “Both of us are playing well at this point, and certainly both of us want to avoid what will be a tough quarter-final series.”

Ginebra earned a tie for second spot after capping its elimination round campaign with a 103-87 victory over Air21 last Wednesday, a result so easy that import Jackson Vroman was only fielded for 29 minutes. Vroman even did not see action the entire fourth quarter.

The ploy to rest Vroman will surely come in very handy for tonight’s contest since the Kings will play for the second time in three nights. The Llamados, on the other hand, has had a week’s rest after surviving Powerade last March 25, 96-94.

Powerade would very much like it to bounce back from that defeat, but the Tigers would have to contend first with a ball club that’s seeking its first playoff appearance in an import-flavored tournament.

Meralco is in high spirits after winning three of its last four games, and coach Ryan Gregorio is expecting that his charges wouldn’t waste the given opportunity.

“Last chance to book a ticket to the playoffs,” said Gregorio. “This is an opportunity that we must seize and not let go. Powerade is a match-up nightmare. They are quick in the perimeter spots and they have an incredible scoring dynamo.”

Gregorio, of course, was referring to no one else than Gary David, once again the leading scorer in the tournament with a 27.9 ppg average.

“His fiery hands must be extinguished,” Gregorio said. “Our defense against him will be the key to our success.”

David, however, is expected to perform with a vengeance.

In the loss to B-Meg, David missed an open three-point shot and bungled an opportunity to tie the game from the free-throw line, missing two of his three charities with the Llamados ahead by 96-93.

It was some sort of a payback for B-Meg, which lost to Powerade in the quarter-finals in the Philippine Cup despite owning a twice-to-beat advantage.

Powerade, too, is on the verge of being eliminated after a championship stint in the Philippine Cup, a surprising drop in performance.

“We all understand the urgency of our situation,” said Tigers’ coach Bo Perasol. “We all know what it takes to advance in the quarter-finals. Nothing is going to be easy.”


Source: Journal.com.ph


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