(Quezon Convention Center, Lucena City)
5 p.m. – Ginebra vs Kia
(Smart Araneta Coliseum)
3 p.m. – Barako Bull vs Globalport
5:15 p.m. – San Miguel vs Purefoods Star
It was two months ago when expansion team Kia Cars scored a stunning victory over popular team Barangay Ginebra San Miguel in a preseason encounter, a win considered by the Sorentos as a ‘huge’ confidence booster as it was against one of the league’s heavyweights.
Kia hopes to repeat the feat when it battles Ginebra in the season’s first out-of-town encounter as the PBA Philippine Cup elimination round continues today at the Quezon Convention Center in Lucena City.
The 3 p.m. match up, dubbed as “Petron Saturday Special,” features opening day winners.
In front of a record crowd 52,612 at the Philippine Arena in Bocaue, Bulacan last Sunday, Kia, led by boxing champion Manny Pacquiao, rallied to beat fellow expansion team Blackwater, 80-66.
The 35-year-old Pacquiao started at the off-guard spot for the Sorentos and played seven minutes.
Sophomore guard LA Revilla made the big plays in Kia’s comeback, scoring 14 of his career-best 23 points in the third quarter that gave Pacquiao – a PBA rookie player/coach – his first win in the league.
Pacquiao, however, will not suit up against Ginebra as he prepares for his WBO welterweight title defense against American challenger Chris Algieri on Nov. 22 at the Venetian Hotel in Macau.
“This game against Ginebra is a big challenge for our team,” said Kia’s assistant coach Glenn Capacio, who will call the shots again.
“We just have to stay positive, and hopefully we can bring the same effort and intensity like we showed in our previous game. If we can do that, I think we can compete with Ginebra,” added Capacio.
The Kings, likewise, came through with a big win of their own as they downed the Talk ’N Text Tropang Texters, 101-81.
The frontline tandem of 6-foot-9 forward Japeth Aguilar and 7-foot sophomore center Greg Slaughter dominated the game as the former collected 18 points, 18 rebounds and five blocked shots while the latter tallied 16 markers, 12 boards and two swats.
It was a good start for Ginebra, which actually struggled in pre-season games that included that setback to Kia (73-71).