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ROS seeks equalizer vs Ginebra

By Jonas Terrado

Game Today
(Smart Araneta Coliseum)
7 p.m. – Ginebra vs Rain or Shine
(Ginebra leads series 1-0)

Inclement weather has become the biggest obstacle in Barangay Ginebra San Miguel’s quest to repeat over Rain or Shine and put a stranglehold in their best-of-five PBA Commissioner’s Cup semifinals which the league hopes would resume tonight at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

The PBA was again forced to postpone another semifinal game yesterday, this time the other series between defending champion San Miguel Beer and Alaska at the Big Dome due to the threat of another heavy rain.

San Miguel’s bid to sweep the series and advance to the finals of the midseason conference may resume Friday night at the Ynares Center in Antipolo City, provided conditions improved by that time.

The Beermen’s 2-0 lead is something Ginebra hopes to replicate in the 7 p.m. match but coach Tim Cone is concerned that the cancellation of Tuesday’s contest may put a damper on his team’s momentum.

Ginebra won its eighth straight game in Sunday’s series opener, pulling away in the fourth quarter behind the hot shooting of Jeff Chan for a 102-89 win at the Big Dome.

“We’re hoping the cancellation does not halt the momentum we’ve worked hard for,” said Cone, whose team started the Commissioner’s Cup with a 1-5 record.

“The extra day also helps Rain or Shine more time to make adjustments and get ready to bounce back in Game 2,” he added. “We expect them to come out with great force so we’ll have to be at the top of our game. Should be a great game.”

But the unexpected break, however, is beneficial for Cone as far the case of Japeth Aguilar is concerned.

Aguilar missed Game 1 after injuring his left Achilles in Ginebra’s quarterfinal sweep of Meralco.

“It does help Japeth get nearer to a return to the lineup who we miss badly,” Cone said.

Import Justin Brownlee hopes to provide the spark anew for Ginebra like he did in Game 1 when he scored 16 of his 35 points in the first quarter while Greg Slaughter will again try to deal containing Rain or Shine’s hulking import Reggie Johnson.

Johnson and the Elasto Painters are eager to have a better start this time, with James Yap, Chris Tiu, Gabe Norwood and Beau Belga tasked to deliver the goods.

Coach Caloy Garcia will again pin his hopes on an improved showing from center Raymond Almazan, who went scoreless in Game 1.