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Post by Ginebra Tambayan on Fri Mar 30, 2012 9:58 am



AFTER getting little help from a hobbled family member, B-Meg and Ginebra square off today for the second and last automatic semifinals slot in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup at the Astrodome.

The match comes right after a similar one-game playoff between Powerade and Meralco for the sixth and final spot in the quarterfinals.

A lion’s share of the focus should be on the nightcap between the two teams under the San Miguel Corp. aegis.

The pairing could have been avoided had the third SMC squad, Petron Blaze, beat Talk N Text last Wednesday. But the Tropang Texters easily prevailed over the injury-plagued Boosters 107-80 to grab the No. 1 seeding at the end of the eliminations and left the Llamados and Kings disputing the other outright spot in the best-of-five semis. Petron finished ninth.

They may be sister teams but B-Meg and Ginebra are out to give it their all.

"It should be a whale of a game. Both of us are playing well at this point and certainly both of us want to avoid what will be a tough quarterfinals series. It’s going to be fun for the fans," said coach Tim Cone, whose Llamados finished the eliminations by winning four of their last five games.

Ginebra ended the eliminations by winning three straight, all of them coming after absorbing a 93-109 thrashing from B-Meg last March 11.

Kings coach Siot Tanquingcen believes his charges have learned their lessons from that defeat, especially on the defensive end.

"Mabibigat ang firepower nila and it should come down on how we basically defend them," he said. "Sa unang game namin, it was only in the last four minutes that we lost steam. Prior to that, it was a tight game. I think it will all depend on which team plays its type of game better."

That should also hold true for the opening game.

Powerade and Meralco finished the eliminations tied with Barako Bull at 4-5, but the Energy took No. 5 due to a higher quotient.

This is one chance the Tigers and Bolts want to grab.

"We all understand the urgency of the situation. We all know what it will take to advance. Nothing is gonna be easy," said Powerade coach Bo Perasol.

"Last chance to book a ticket to the playoffs," noted Meralco coach Ryan Gregorio. "This is an opportunity that we must seize and not let go."

Powerade came from behind to beat Meralco 94-82 the first time they met last Feb. 26 and Gregorio has used the lessons learned from not only that match but also the others the Tigers have played in laying down a simple strategy.

"The plan is to limit their team output," bared Gregorio. "They are averaging 101 points per game. We cannot battle them toe to toe on offense. That can be disastrous for us. Instead, the battle plan must be executed on the defensive end. If we limit them to less than 90, then we might have a chance."

On Meralco’s crosshairs is Gary David, who torched the Bolts for 29 points in their first meeting and has so far put up some very impressive numbers.

"His 27.9 average is the most among the locals in 20 seasons. His fiery production must be extinguished. Our defense against him will be the key to our success," said Gregorio.

That does not mean the likes of Marcio Lassiter, Jayvee Casio and import Dwayne Jones have been forgotten. "Their outputs must also be limited," stated Gregorio.

The winner of the Powerade-Meralco match takes on the loser of the Ginebra-B-Meg game in the best-of-three quarterfinals.

Source: Malaya.com.ph

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