Games Today (Ynares Sports Center, Antipolo City)
4:15 p.m. – Talk ’N Text vs Barako Bull
7 p.m. – Globalport vs Ginebra
Manila, Philippines – Barangay Ginebra San Miguel and Talk ’N Text, two teams with twice-to-beat incentives, try to arrange a do-or-die playoff match for a spot in the semifinals when they face separate foes in the quarterfinals of the PBA Philippine Cup today at the Ynares Sports Center, Antipolo City.
The Tropang Texters first take the floor as they collide against the Barako Bull Energy Cola at 4:15 p.m., while the Kings try to avenge an elimination round defeat when they face the Globalport Batang Pier at 7 p.m.
Ginebra and TNT earned twice-to-beat bonus for finishing between third to sixth places after the elimination round, which will face the seventh to 10th qualifiers in a crossover quarterfinals.
The other two quarters series is being played at presstime with Alaska and Meralco – the twice-to-beat teams – battling newcomer North Luzon Expressway (NLEX) and Grand Slam champion Purefoods Star, respectively.
Already waiting in the best-of-seven semifinals are top teams San Miguel Beer and Rain or Shine.
One thing going for Globalport in its quarterfinals affair with Ginebra though it is facing a difficult task of beating the popular team twice, is that team mentored by Erick Gonzales won against the Kings in convincing fashion only last Dec. 9 (98-77) at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
That game marked the first time that Gonzales assumed the head coaching spot on an interim basis for Globalport, which converted nearly 50 percent of its shots from the field as compared to Ginebra’s 24-of-81 (30%). Terrence Romeo had a game-high 25 points.
Globalport, however, is nursing an 82-70 loss to Meralco last Tuesday in the battle for the last twice-to-beat advantage. Yesterday, the team dealt Alex Cabagnot back to San Miguel Beer in exchange of former player Sol Mercado and two second round picks (2018 and 2019).
Ginebra is also coming off a painful defeat to Rain or Shine (100-90) last Sunday where the Kings fell behind by as many as 23 points (80-57) in the third quarter, and their rally in the final frame fell short.
“Defensively, we gave up too many points in the first and third quarters,” said Ginebra coach Jeff Cariaso. “For you to be able beat a team like Rain or Shine, we have to be able to defend. We only defended well for two quarters.”
“Yes we’re happy about that (twice-to-beat), but still, you want to be able to go to the playoffs on a good note. It’s playoff time now, so we just have to be ready. We’ll prepare well,” added Cariaso.
The backcourt encounter will be the main attraction again in this Ginebra-Globalport game as the Kings will lean on Mark Caguioa, LA Tenorio, Joseph Yeo and Chris Ellis, while the Batang Pier will have rookie Stanley Pringle, Ronjay Buenafe, Romeo and Mercado.