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Barako battles Ginebra, eyes share of lead
Coaches Ato Agustin and Rajko Toroman face off as the Kings and Energy Cola collide. Jerome Ascano
BARAKO Bull tries to keep pace with league leader Petron Blaze when it tangles with Barangay Ginebra in the PBA Governors Cup on Friday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
The Energy Cola are on a mini-run, winning a 90-89 decision over Meralco and following that up with a 103-94 triumph against Air21. Another win would enable the Energy Cola to match the Blaze Boosters’ win-loss 3-1 mark.
But it will be a tough task for the George Chua-owned ball club as it takes on fan favorite Barangay Ginebra at 7:30 p.m.
The return of big man Enrico Villanueva, whose been out of commission since suffering a knee injury late last year, will have to be moved further this conference, according to Barako Bull coach/consultant Rajko Toroman.
The Serbian mentor said the 6-foot-5 Villanueva has been joining the team’s practice, but is still not in game shape as of the moment.
Toroman will be pitting coaching skills with Barangay Ginebra’s new coach Ato Agustin for the first time this conference.
The two worked together when Toroman briefly served as the Petron’s active team consultant during the early part of the season.
Agustin said he’s well aware of Barako Bull’s ability to space the floor with its slew of outside shooters and a slasher in import Mike Singletary.
“Kapag maganda yung depensa mo, susunod na ang opensa,” said Agustin, whose team registered its first win this conference, 98-85, over Meralco last Saturday.
Barangay Ginebra top playmaker LA Tenorio said they need to be efficient as they play two games in three days — the Kings face Alaska on Sunday.
“We need to be fresh,” said Tenorio. Even ako, pag nakakaramdam na ako sa legs ko, nagpapa-sub din ako, tintansta ko lang kasi ayaw ko namang pilipitin.”
Tenorio is coming off a new career-high 34 points against the Bolts, hitting a perfect five-of-five from beyond the arc.
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