Barangay Ginebra San Miguel collides with Rain or Shine tonight in the final day of the elimination round of the Philippine Basketball Association Season 43 Philippine Cup at the Araneta Coliseum.
The Gin Kings, who are coming off an 82-84 loss to the already-eliminated Meralco last February 18, will be fighting for dear life as they face the Elasto Painters in the 7 p.m. game. Phoenix takes on GlobalPort in the first match at 4:30 p.m.
“In our minds, this is a do or die game. I can’t see winning a knockout game for eighth and then beating SMB with a twice-to-beat advantage. It won’t happen, so we have to get this one,” said Ginebra coach Tim Cone.
With a 5-5 win-loss record at No.6, Ginebra could enter the quarterfinals’ best-of-three (No. 3 to 6) if it wins tonight.
“Good news is, despite all our uneven play this conference we still control our own destiny in terms of finishing in the top six. We’ll see if we can put one good game together,” added Cone.
Japeth Aguilar and the seven-footer Greg Slaughter are expected to lead the Gin Kings vs RoS.
The Elasto Painters of coach Caloy Garcia, still inspired by their 95-80 victory over defending champion San Miguel Beer last Wednesday, will play with less pressure since they are already assured of a slot in the best-of-three quarterfinals.
Meanwhile, Phoenix with a 4-6 win-loss record is also fighting for a slot in the quarterfinals as it takes on GlobalPort.
Phoenix coach Louie Alas said playing against GlobalPort would be hard because three of his players are dealing with medical issues. Missing the game are Justin Chua (appendix), LA Revilla (hand injury) and Willie Wilson (sprained thumb).
“The good thing is I already prepared my third unit to fill the slots of the injured players,” said Alas. “I reviewed the previous games of GlobalPort and they are No. 1 in rebounds. They are also good in fast break points. As I’ve said, it is hard but doable.”