(Mall of Asia Arena)
4:15 p.m. – Globalport vs Barako Bull
7 p.m. – Star vs Ginebra
While his players were celebrating their win against Talk ’N Text last Sunday, Barangay Ginebra San Miguel coach Tim Cone is already looking forward to his team’s next battle, his mind probably mapping out his game strategy come playoff time in the Smart Bro PBA Philippine Cup.
After all, the ‘crowd favorite’ Kings will be taking on the Star Hotshots, Cone’s former squad, which handed them a humiliating defeat when the two teams clashed early during the elimination round.
With that, he knows it would be one hell of a fight.
“Our reward for winning this game is we’re going to play Star… which is really, really hard” said Cone during his post-game interview following Ginebra’s 91-84 victory at the Mall of Asia (MOA) Arena in Pasay City.
“They handled us so easily the first time we played them,” added Cone.
“Hopefully we’re a better team and understand a little bit more of what we want to do,” said Cone of Ginebra.
In the first and only meeting between two teams in the eliminations, the Hotshots used a strong start that saw them took a 31-point lead (44-13) early in the second quarter then withstood the Kings’ fiery comeback in the second half to score the win.
Ginebra, however, will enter that playoff game against Star riding the crest of a three-game win streak, and more importantly, armed with a twice-to-beat bonus in the quarterfinal round.
“You know I love the Purefoods (Star) guys dearly. But at this point they’re on our way and we’ll try to find a way to beat them and they’re going to do the same thing to us. At this point right now there’s no love lost between us,” said Cone.
“Those Purefoods players obviously know how to play in the playoffs and they know how to get themselves ready for the playoffs.“