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Kings begin bid for 3-peat

 

By JONAS TERRADO

 

Barangay Ginebra San Miguel launches its drive for another title tonight when it takes on winless Columbian Dyip in the PBA Governors’ Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Twenty-three days removed from capturing the Commissioner’s Cup crown, the Kings hope to start off their defense of the conference they ruled for the last two editions in the 7 p.m. match with the Dyip, who are struggling after three straight defeats.

Ginebra will try to shake off the championship hangover following its stirring six-game victory over San Miguel Beer in the finals with beloved import Justin Brownlee back for his fifth conference with the squad.

Brownlee has been primarily responsible for Ginebra’s recent success and will try to give Tim Cone his ninth Governors’ Cup title, the most by any coach in PBA history.

Spotlight will also be centered on do-it-all Scottie Thompson, whose stock is expected to rise after being named Commissioner’s Cup Finals Most Valuable Player.

But big responsibilities are expected to be carried anew by LA Tenorio, Greg Slaughter and possibly Japeth Aguilar, who was nursing an Achilles injury during the Finals.

The Kings are favored to run roughshod on the Dyip, who have fallen short despite attempts to pull off upset victories against the Meralco Bolts, Phoenix Fuel Masters and NLEX Road Warriors.

Phoenix tries to bounce back from Wednesday’s loss to Alaska in the 4:30 p.m. opener against struggling TNT KaTropa.

The Fuel Masters fell 108-97 to the Aces that spoiled new addition Calvin Abueva’s first meeting against his former team.

Abueva, who recently signed a three-year, R15.1 million contract extension, and import Eugene Phelps look to regain Phoenix’s winning ways against TNT, a team under fire due to its unusual 1-3 start.

Coach Nash Racela attempts to resolve its woes with Terrence Romeo and Jayson Castro leading the charge while import Stacy Davis tries to produce his best showing after two underwhelming outings in losses to Blackwater and Alaska.

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