Barangay Ginebra San Miguel tries to stay undefeated as it faces the dangerous Blackwater in the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) Season 43 Philippine Cup today at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.
The Gin Kings, riding on the momentum of their victories over Magnolia (89-78) and GlobalPort (104-97), are gunning for a 3-0 start to keep the solo leadership when they clash with the Elite in the second game at 7 p.m.
Rain or Shine meets winless GlobalPort in the first game at 4:30 p.m.
Ginebra‘s seven-footer Greg Slaughter and 6’9 Japeth Aguilar have been playing solid games for the Gin Kings with Slaughter averaging 21 points, 10.5 rebounds and 4.5 blocks while Aguilar had 21 points, nine rebounds and six blocks in their win against Batang Pier.
Ginebra head coach Tim Cone warns his players not to take Blackwater lightly as it is capable of beating any team in the conference.
“We’re very leery of Blackwater. They beat us up in a practice game before the start of the conference. They have talented wings and have good size starting with (JP) Erram. We’ll need to be a lot better against them than what we were in our last game,” said Cone.
“They are truly one of the up and coming teams in the league. They are building their team the right way,” he added.
Elite head coach Leo Isaac warns his wards to bring their A-game if they want to stand a chance against Ginebra.
“It will be something special for us if we will be the first team to hand Ginebra its first defeat this conference,” said Isaac, whose team is coming from a 92-87 win over Rain or Shine last December 29 for a 1-1 win-loss record.
Mac Belo and Mike Digregorio combined for 48 points in their first win against the Elasto Painters since entering the league in 2014.
Meanwhile, Rain or Shine tries to bounce back from previous defeat and break away from the tie with TNT KaTropa in the team standings. The Elasto Painters and KaTropa are holding similar 1-1 slates.
GlobalPort remains winless after two games but nearly pulled off an upset against Ginebra. Stanley Pringle is averaging 28 points, nine rebounds and seven assists in the first two games for the Batang Pier.
JOSEF T. RAMOS