Games Today (Smart Araneta)
4:15 p.m. – GlobalPort vs Blackwater
7 p.m. – Alaska vs Barangay Ginebra
Opening day winners GlobalPort and Alaska gun for their second straight victory in the PBA Governors’ Cup today at the Smart Araneta Coliseum even as head coach Frankie Lim gets his baptism of fire calling the shots at Barangay Ginebra San Miguel.
The GlobalPort Batang Pier take on the Blackwater Elite at 4:15 p.m. followed by the main offering between the Aces and the Kings.
Behind the 18 points and 12 rebounds of LeBron James’ high school teammate Romeo Travis and a huge contribution from the bench, the Aces dumped the Elite and Marcus Douthit, 106-80, last Tuesday, while Pido Jarencio celebrated his return to coaching after a brief sabbatical by steering the Batang Pier past the Meralco Bolts, 92-73.
Eric Gonzales took over the helm during Jarencio’s short stint as consultant but has since returned and assumed his former chores.
Five GlobalPort players struck in double digits, led by Terrence Romeo who had 27 points with four 3-pointers, to overshadow the 41-point, 13-rebound performance of Andre Emmet. No other player had more than 7 points for the Bolts, who were a measly 22 of 78 (28 percent) from the floor.
Lim, who took over from former MVP Ato Agustin after Ginebra failed to advance to the semifinals of the previous Commissioner’s Cup, will be making his first appearance as head coach against the team he played for in six seasons from 1986 to 1992.
Tasked with shaking up the lethargic Kings, Lim immediately effected personnel changes, sending Dylan Ababou, James Forrester and recently Joseph Yeo in separate deals to Barako Bull for Sol Mercado and draft picks.
Ginebra will be parading 6-foot-4 former Indiana Pacers forward Orlando Johnson and Mongolian hotshot Sanchir Tungalag, who shone during the Incheon Asian Games several months ago. Johnson, on the other hand, was part of the NBA pre-season game between Indiana and the Houston Rockets in October last year and has an elder brother who is married to a Filipina.
“I am very excited for this opportunity. I want to help make Ginebra a contender again. To make all the Ginebra fans and my countrymen in Mongolia proud,” Sanchir told Spin.ph through his agent Sam ‘Joey’ Ramos.
An interesting observer will be Alaska assistant coach Jeffrey Cariaso, who used to coach Ginebra before getting yanked out in favor of Agustin following a short and unsuccessful stint. Cariaso, an assistant to former Alaska mentor Tim Cone with Purefoods before getting the call at Ginebra, returned to the Aces where he started his pro career as a sixth pick during the 1995 rookie draft. (Tito S. Talao)