By Jonas Terrado
(Ynares Center, Antipolo City)
4:30 p.m. – Blackwater vs TNT KaTropa
6:45 p.m. – Alaska vs Magnolia
Struggling Magnolia and Alaska clash for the first time since their title encounter last December as they look to enhance their fortunes in the PBA Philippine Cup at the Ynares Center in Antipolo City.
The Hotshots and Aces square off in the Petron Saturday Special affair at 6:45 p.m. with the latter seeking to rediscover the form that won them the Governors’ Cup title at the same venue.
TNT KaTropa looks to boost its quarterfinals bid against Blackwater in the opener at 4:30 p.m.
Magnolia is desperate to improve a dismal 1-4 record, with another loss possibly endangering its chances of making the last eight.
Its latest loss came last Wednesday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum where the Hotshots blew a 17-point lead to fall 89-87 to the Phoenix Pulse Fuel Masters.
Coach Chito Victolero is urging his boys to have a sense of urgency against an Alaska side that is having a solid run despite injuries to key players.
Alaska is running third in the standings at 3-2 with Chris Banchero, Simon Enciso, Jeron Teng, Carl Bryan Cruz, Jake Pascual playing integral roles in routing Barangay Ginebra San Miguel, 104-78, last Sunday.
Aces mentor Alex Compton believes his team can still improve despite its decent run, knowing that Magnola is capable of turning things around.
Mark Barroca, who won the Finals Most Valuable Player in their title series, Paul Lee, Jio Jalalon and Ian Sangalang are looking to keep Magnolia’s quarterfinal chances alive.
Meanwhile, TNT is eager to extend its winning run to three games in the match opposite Blackwater.