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PBA: SMB, ROS eye vital wins

Games Today
(Mall of Asia Arena)
3 p.m. – San Miguel vs Kia
5:15 p.m. – Ginebra vs Rain or Shine

Grand Slam-seeking San Miguel and Barangay Ginebra San Miguel resume their respective bids to gain favorable seedings in the quarterfinals today in the PBA Governors’ Cup at the Mall of Asia Arena.

The Beermen look to capitalize on Sunday’s 107-103 win over Ginebra and formally secure their place in the quarters as they face the winless Kia Picanto in the first game of the Petron Saturday Special at 3 p.m.

Disappointed with its lackluster showing in the marquee encounter, Ginebra tries to bounce back and move closer toward securing a twice-to-beat advantage in the 5:15 p.m. meeting with Rain or Shine.

Sunday’s result somehow restored the old form San Miguel had missed three weeks ago when it absorbed back-to-back losses to NLEX and GlobalPort. The Beermen won two straight after both setbacks, with Chris Ross leading the charge in beating Rain or Shine and Ginebra.

Ross insisted that the Beermen are doing just fine despite its inconsistent showing.

“I don’t think anything was wrong with us,” Ross insisted when asked of the mid-conference struggle. “When we changed imports, I guess you could say they made the wrong decision, but I felt we’re playing good enough to win games. We’re just not making plays at the end of the game.

“But now that we got an import that competes and fits in well with us, we’re getting healthy, coach is finding our way with our rotation, then we’re starting to play a little bit better which is causing us to win games,” he added.

New import Terrence Watson produced 28 points and 17 rebounds in his first game since replacing Terik Bridgeman, and it seems that the Beermen have found the reinforcement that would compliment well with their formidable local core that includes Arwind Santos, Alex Cabagnot and Marcio Lassiter.

San Miguel is the overwhelming favorite against Kia, still winless in nine games. The Picanto nearly barged into the win column but lost to the Alaska Aces, 102-94.

Ginebra, on the other hand, is motivated to bring back its mean streak after San Miguel snapped its seven-game winning run.

The Gin Kings fell behind by almost 30 points against the Beermen, much to the disappointment of coach Tim Cone. Greg Slaughter, Joe Devance and LA Tenorio, to name a few, are hungry to redeem themselves.

Ginebra, which at presstime leads the conference with a 7-2 record, faces a tough Rain or Shine squad that is hell bent on staying within distance of San Miguel and TNT KaTropa for the top four spot. The Beermen and Elasto Painters are tied at 5-3, half-game behind the fourth-running KaTropa (6-3).