The Barangay Ginebra Kings will be looking to get their edge back when they face off against the reigning champions San Miguel Beermen in the PBA Philippine Cup on Friday at the AUF Sports Arena in Pampanga.
Gametime is at 6:45 p.m. right after the opening game between the Magnolia Hotshots and the NorthPort Batang Pier at 4 p.m.
Ginebra head coach Tim Cone said that he and the rest of his veteran-laden squad aren’t even close to panicking after losing to Magnolia, 92-102, last Sunday. The loss was the team’s second in a row after starting the season with four straight victories.
"We just feel we played two really good teams which made big shots down the stretch to beat us," said Cone. "We're not ready to panic."
San Miguel’s endurance will be severely tested as they head back into action after defeating Meralco, 89-82, just last Wednesday. The Beermen have won three in a row to put them side by side Ginebra in the standings.
Beermen head coach Leo Austria said he is expecting a fierce battle between the two proud franchises.
"Alam naman ng lahat na kapag magkalaban kaming dalawa talagang walang bigayan iyan. It's always a war," Austria was quoted as saying on the league’s official website.
Austria though, is aware of the workload his players are bearing with Moala Tautuaa, Arwind Santos, Alex Cabagnot and Marcio Lassiter playing at least 28 minutes each. Santos, who is 39 years old, barely saw the bench against Meralco as he played a whopping 42 minutes.
"Medyo difficult task for us," said Austria. "Alam naman ng lahat, kahapon lang kami naglaro, sila naka-rest ng two days. At saka kagabi napuno most of the starters ko.” (JNP)