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GINEBRA-ROS DUEL: A TOSS-UP
Published on December 16, 2011
Dead even in the elimination round, Barangay Ginebra and Rain or Shine are pitted in what’s easily the most exciting matchup in the PBA Philippine Cup quarterfinals.
Keen observers see it a toss-up.
The protagonists, meanwhile, can only express guarded optimism at best.
“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 are at their peak and we hope we can slow them down a little bit,” said Rain or Shine bench chieftain Yeng Guiao.
The Kings and the Elasto Painters start their best-of-three quarters showdown at 7:30 p.m. Friday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
The Kings are riding the momentum of a five-game streak but the Elasto Painters themselves are on a high, having finished their elims stint on a winning note.
They wound up with identical 9-6 win-loss marks in the elims although the Elasto Painters emerged victorious in their fierce battle at the start of the season.
Nonetheless, Guiao insists they’re the underdogs. It doesn’t mean, though, that Guiao is wary of the match-up.
“We’re excited to play Ginebra. It’s always a treat to play Ginebra in the playoffs because we like the attention and we like our role as underdogs,” said Guiao.
Tanquingcen won’t quarrel with Guiao, just promising that his chargers will come out ready for a battle.
“Rain or Shine will be tough. They beat us in the opening game by one. They’re a pretty good team and we’ve got to be ready,” said Tanquingcen.
Ginebra has beefed up its frontcourt in activating Rico Maierhofer for the playoffs.
In the end, the Ginebra-RoS duel could well be decided by the backcourt matchups, though.
Mark Caguioa and Mike Cortez spearhead the Kings’ bid against Rain or Shine led by prized rookie guard Paul Lee.
Lee had a sterling pro debut, leading Rain or Shine to a 94-93 squeaker over Ginebra in the season opener. (SB)
Source: PBA PH
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