Barangay Ginebra and GlobalPort will face their respective foes today, Christmas Day, in the quarterfinals of Philippine Basketball Association Philippine Cup at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.
The Gin Kings, who took the No. 4 spot and armed with a twice-to-beat advantage, will battle the Star Hotshots in the second game at 5:15 pm after the 3 p.m. match between the GlobalPort Batang Pier and the Barako Bull Energy.
Coach Tim Cone, who led the Star Hotshots to a grand slam title in 2013 before being appointed as Ginebra head coach at the start of this season, believes his former team would capitalize on their experience in the playoffs.
“They [Star Hotshots] know how to play in the playoffs and they know how to get themselves ready for the playoffs,” said the multi-awarded coach. “They are a tough team to beat because of their veteran players.”
Ginebra’s 7-footer Greg Slaughter, who averaged 23.5 points, 15 rebounds, 3.2 assists and 1.4 blocks per game in the elimination round, is expecting tough resistance from Star’s Jean Marc Pingris, Rafi Reavis, rookie Norbert Torres, Yousef Taha, Jake Pascual and Ian Sanggalang.
Slaughter will get support from Japeth Aguilar, Dave Marcelo, Jervy Cruz, Joe Devance, Mark Caguioa, Chris Ellis and rookie Earl Scottie Thompson.
Despite struggling in the early part of the conference, Ginebra ended the elimination round with a 7-4 win-loss record.
The Star Hotshots, under the tutelage of rookie coach Jason Webb, are expected to rely heavily on two-time Most Valuable Player James Yap, Peter June Simon, Alex Mallari, Allein Maliksi and Mark Barroca.
Star finished the elimination round with 4-7 record for ninth place.
In the other match, , the GlobalPort Batang Pier, armed with a twice-to-beat bonus, are expected to rely on their run-and-gun attacks led by Terrence Romeo, Stanley Pringle and veteran Joseph Yeo in battling the Barako Bull Energy.
GlobalPort is No. 5 after finishing the elimination round with a 7-4 record. To fortify its backcourt lineup, Billy Mamaril, Anthony Jay Washington, Rico Maierhofer, Keith Jensen, Doug Kramer, Anthony Semerad, and Dorian Pena will take care of the shaded lane.
The Energy, who ended the elimination with a 5-6 record, will be banking on the prowess of swingman JC Intal, Josh Urbiztondo, Eman Monfort and Willie Wilson to nullify GlobalPort’s twice-to-beat edge.