Ginebra faces Rain or Shine in quarterfinals opener

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Raymond Almazan of Rain or Shine (right) challenges the defense of Mic Pennisi of Phoenix during a PBA Commissioner’s Cup elimination round game at the Smart Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City. PHOTO BY CZEASAR DANCEL

Raymond Almazan of Rain or Shine (right) challenges the defense of Mic Pennisi of Phoenix during a PBA Commissioner’s Cup elimination round game at the Smart Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City. PHOTO BY CZEASAR DANCEL

Barangay Ginebra will take on Rain or Shine in the opener of the best-of-three quarterfinals of the Philippine Basketball Association Season 41 Commissioner’s Cup today at the Cuneta Astrodome in Pasay City.

The Gin Kings and the Elasto Painters that both finished the elimination round with identical 7-4 win-loss records; will collide at 5:15 p.m. following the match between Alaska and Talk ‘N Text at 3 p.m.

Barangay Ginebra, led by the all-around Othyus Jeffers and the seven-footer Greg Slaughter, is coming off a back-to-back win over reigning Philippine Cup champion San Miguel Beer (110-84) and leading team Me¬ralco (103-90).

“Coach Yeng [Guiao] is always an incredible challenge. He is such a fierce competitor and that rubs off on his players. They are a tough match up for us because they play at such a heightened pace. We’ll need to keep our discipline and make sure we play our game, not theirs,” said coach Tim Cone of the Gin Kings.


Jeffers is expected to lead Ginebra anew with the support of Slaughter, Japeth Aguilar, veteran guard Mark Caguioa, LA Tenorio, Solomon Mercado, rookie play¬maker Earl Scottie Thomp¬son, Dave Marcelo, Chris Ellis and forward Joe Devance.

The Elasto Painters, under Guiao, are expected to plunge into action inspired after beating eliminated teams Phoenix, GlobalPort and Blackwater.

Rain or Shine is expected to bank on the prowess of its new import Pierre Henderson Niles, and local players Jeff Chan, Paul Lee, Beau Belga, Jay-R Quiñahan, Maverick Ahanmisi, Don Tro¬llano, Jericho Cruz, Raymund Almazan and Jireh Ibañez.

Meanwhile, Alaska is fortified with the return of former best import Robert Dozier.

Dozier returned last Friday and led the Aces to a win over the Northern Luzon Expressway Road Warriors. Dozier finished with 14 points, 13 rebounds and two blocks as Alaska ended the conference with 7-4 win-loss record.

Calvin Abueva, RJ Jazul, Cyrus Baguio, Sonny Thoss and Jayvee Casio are also expected to step up for the Aces.

Talk ‘N Text, carrying a 6-5 win-loss record after the elimination round, will lean on its 6’9 import David Simon that will be supported by Troy Rosario, Moala Tautuaa, Kelly Williams, Jayson Castro, Ryan Reyes, Harvey Carey and Jai Reyes.

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