Kings versus Bolts

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Kings versus Bolts

Post by Ginebra Tambayan on Sun Dec 04, 2011 10:04 am

Kings versus Bolts

Published : Sunday, December 04, 2011 00:00
Written by : Zean Macamay

Games today: (Araneta Coliseum)

4:15 p.m. – vs. Rain or Shine
6:30 p.m. – Ginebra vs. Meralco

GINEBRA’S playoff slot may be secured, but finishing seventh or eighth after the elimination round isn’t a comfortable position all the same.

The Kings begin their quest of trying to improve on their position in the standings today, clashing with Meralco in the PBA Philippine Cup at the Araneta Coliseum.

The most popular ball club is in danger of having a twice-to-beat disadvantage in the next round, a situation that could happen if it doesn’t enhance on its current standing. Under tournament format, teams that finish seventh or eighth will have to beat the Nos. 1 and 2 ball clubs twice in a row to advance into the semi-finals.

“We’re not out of the woods yet,” said Kings’ coach Siot Tanquingcen. “We have to make a run in our last three games. It can go well or it can go really, really bad.”

Ginebra survived a huge stumbling block just the other night, beating sister-team and erstwhile league-leader Petron in a tight finish, 91-89. Mark Caguioa was the hero in that contest, finishing with 22 points – including the key jumper with 40.6 seconds left -- and the critical Magic Johnson-like assist to Willy Wilson underneath the basket with 3.6 seconds left to play.

The Kings are also eyeing to get some measure of revenge against the Bolts, who came out triumphant when these two franchises met last Nov. 4, 93-87, behind the 25-point performance from Mark Cardona.

Incidentally, this will be Meralco’s final game in the elimination round. The Bolts are already assured of a playoff berth, but are eager to enter the quarter-final round bursting with confidence.

“”We are determined to finish the elimination round on a high note and to have a good momentum heading to the playoffs,” said Bolts’ coach Ryan Gregorio. “More importantly, we are still knocking on the door for one of two slots still available for the twice-to-beat advantage.

“Ginebra’s always a tough match-up for any team. You don’t only prepare against their players, you also make sure that the crowd does not get involve. So the challenge is to limit highlight plays, stop fastbreak points, and challenge their three-point attempts.”

The Bolts, indeed, still have a chance at landing in the top two spots, especially if they pull this one off to improve their record to 9-5.

Meralco, like Ginebra, won the other night. The Bolts beat Powerade, a team struggling to make it to the playoffs, 100-98.

Rain or Shine once again tries to snap out of a slump when it tackles winless

The Elasto Painters, who once owned a 7-1 (win-loss) record, have now lost four straight and fell to fifth place.

“Our objective is simple, just break the losing streak,” said Rain or Shine coach Yeng Guiao. “Then we prepare for the playoffs. We can’t take for granted. This is the time to pick up our game our else our confidence can suffer irreparable damage.”

The Painters have lost their last three games by a combined margin of only eight points, losing to defending champion Talk ‘N Text and B-Meg by merely two. In their previous game against Barako Bull, they lost by four.

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