Best-of-3 grinds for semis under way

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Best-of-3 grinds for semis under way

Post by Ginebra Tambayan on Fri Dec 16, 2011 1:54 am

Best-of-3 grinds for semis under way
By Nelson Beltran (The Philippine Star)
Updated December 16, 2011 12:00 AM

MANILA, Philippines - The elimination-round middle-of-the-pack teams take their turn to begin their best-of-three duels in the PBA Philippine Cup quarterfinals with Petron slugging it out with Meralco and Barangay Ginebra mixes it up with Rain or Shine at the Smart Araneta Coliseum today.

Both contests are considered a toss-up since the protagonists are evenly matched and each one setting out for the battle highly motivated.

Petron is in pursuit of a follow-up to its Governors Cup championship, Ginebra is out to end a four-year title drought while Meralco and Rain or Shine are both chasing a breakthrough win.

The Boosters, the Kings and the Elasto Painters finished with similar 9-5 win-loss marks in the elims with the Bolts coming in a game behind at 8-6.

For Meralco coach Ryan Gregorio, that difference plus the Boosters’ championship experience makes the Bolts the underdogs in their 5:15 p.m. showdown.

“The nice thing about odds if you’re the underdog is that it is not enough to make them win,” said Gregorio.

“In terms of talent and experience, the advantage is on them, but you can counter it by being tenacious on defense and hungry to reach the mountaintop. That is where we will focus our attention on,” Gregorio added.

Petron boasts of a lethal “Mutt and Jeff” combination in Arwind Santos and Alex Cabagnot, but Meralco has its own prolific tandem in Macmac Cardona and Sol Mercado.

Both pairs have their solid support casts, making the Petron-Meralco duel exciting and interesting.

So does the Ginebra-Rain or Shine confrontation at 7:30 p.m. in a game featuring an explosive matchup between Mark Caguioa and Paul Lee.

“It’s going to be tough. We need to stay focused mentally, concentrate on defense and share the ball on offense,” said Ginebra coach Siot Tanquingcen.

“They’re good in the wings but we also have good wing players. I think we can also match up at the frontcourt,” said Rain or Shine assistant coach Caloy Garcia.

Ginebra has beefed up its frontcourt by activating Rico Maierhofer.

Also going for the Kings is the momentum of their five-game winning streak.

Source: The Philippine Star
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