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PBA: Ginebra faces Meralco

Games Today (Ynares Center, Antipolo)
4:15 p.m. – NLEX vs Blackwater
7 p.m. – Ginebra vs Meralco

Game Tomorrow
(Cagayan de Oro City)
5 p.m. – Alaska vs Globalport

Manila, Philippines – Claiming they have learned a lesson from their defeat to sister team San Miguel Beer the last time, Ginebra Coach Jeffrey Cariaso is confident they can beat the Meralco Bolts today in the PBA Philippine Cup at the Ynares Center in Antipolo City.

Cariaso was discontented with the way his wards played team defense in Sunday’s painful 79-77 loss to the Beermen, but said they will make several adjustments – not major ones – to remedy their defensive flaws in their 7 p.m. match with the Bolts.

Serving as an appetizer is the 4:15 p.m. clash between newcomer North Luzon Expressway (NLEX) and winless expansion team Blackwater.

Ginebra is currently tied for third place with idle Rain or Shine at 5-2, a game behind co-leaders San Miguel and Alaska, which are tied at 6-1.

In Sunday’s loss, the Kings trailed by as many as 15 points (66-51) early in the third quarter before rallying back in the final frame but fell short. Ginebra could have tied the game at 74-all but Japeth Aguilar missed an alley-oop dunk off a lob pass from Greg Slaughter in the final moments of the game.

Aguilar, and even the mild-mannered Cariaso felt a foul should have been whistled on SMB’s Arwind Santos, who gave the 6-foot-9 Aguilar a slight nudge.

Cariaso, however, admitted they played below par against their sister team.

“How they got a 12-point lead, how they got a 10-point lead. That’s where I’m focusing,” said Cariaso, who is only in his second conference as coach of Ginebra after replacing Ato Agustin prior to the Governors’ Cup last season.

“It was a good fight. That is one thing about the guys right now, they’re really learning to get back. But we have to find ways and make sure it won’t happen again,” added Cariaso.