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PBA: Kings battle Star

Games Today
(Smart Araneta Coliseum)
3 p.m. – Mahindra vs Rain or Shine
5:15 p.m. – Star vs Ginebra

Grand slam coach Tim Cone will make his debut as Ginebra guru ironically against the same team whom he led to a triple crown two seasons ago, the Star Hotshots, in today’s Smart Bro PBA Philippine Cup today at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Cone coached the Star franchise for four seasons where he bagged five championships that gave him a record 21 league titles and a second Grand Slam in 2014.

The game between Ginebra and Star is set at 5:15 p.m., right after the 3 p.m. encounter of Rain or Shine and Mahindra, where playing coach Manny Pacquiao is expected to join the Enforcers (formerly Kia).

The Elasto Painters – minus injured ace point guard Paul Lee – are aiming for their second straight victory after their come-from-behind 96-87 decision to the Hotshots last Wednesday.

Cone took over a Ginebra team that boasts of a potent ‘twin towers’ in 7-foot center Greg Slaughter and 6-10 forward Japeth Aguilar, which makes the 57-year-old mentor excited to implement his ‘triangle offense’ system.

“The triangle we have right now is ‘the triangle’ (with Ginebra),” said Cone, now with his third PBA team after 23-year stint with Alaska where he won 16 titles and his first Grand Slam.

However, the Kings are not just about the Slaughter-Aguilar tandem as Cone will likewise have in his arsenal a loaded backcourt led by former MVP Mark Caguioa and former ward LA Tenorio.

The team was supposed to debut last Wednesday against Meralco, but the league adjusted its schedule when the opening ceremony was postponed last Sunday.

As for the Hotshots, the team will try to rebound from that setback to Rain or Shine, but rookie mentor Jason Webb, who took over from Cone, expects a tough match up with Ginebra’s size advantage.

“They’re a tough match up for us, or for any team, with their size,” said Webb, 41, whose team will again be led by former two-time MVP James Yap, Marc Pingris and Mark Barroca.

“They’re a tough match up for us, or for any team, with their size,” said Webb, 41, whose team will again be led by former two-time MVP James Yap, Marc Pingris and Mark Barroca.

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