Barangay Ginebra San Miguel and Philippine Cup champion San Miguel Beer shoot for a quarterfinals berth as they face separate foes in the resumption of the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) Season 42 Commissioner’s Cup today at the Cuneta Astrodome in Pasay City.
The Gin Kings, who’ve won their last five games, clash with Rain or Shine in the main game at 7 p.m. while the Beermen face off with the eliminated NLEX at 4:15 p.m.
The Elasto Painters are parading a new import in Duke Crews, who replaced Shawn Taggart.
Ginebra and San Miguel are currently tied with identical 5-1 win-loss slates and a win will secure them a spot in the next round.
Kings head coach Tim Cone is wary of his players’ sharpness after the leagues weeklong break to give way to the country’s hosting of the 2017 Southeast Asia Basketball Association Championship.
“It’s been a terrifically long break so we’re apprehensive as to how sharp we’ll be tomorrow,” said Cone, who will most likely give Gilas member Japeth Aguilar a much-deserved break on Friday.
“Plus we’re uncertain of Japeth’s availability because he’s had no practice with us this week and hence no preparation for what we’re to do against Rain or Shine. We’ll see if we can figure it all out in time for our game. But no doubt, our guys are raring to get back at it,” he added.
Six-foot-five import Justin Brownlee, who is averaging 26.6 points, 11.2 rebounds and 5.6 assists, is expected to anchor the team’s offense as Ginebra tries to extend its winning streak to six games and join Meralco (7-2), Star Hotshots (7-2) and TNT KaTropa (6-3) in the quarterfinals.
The Elasto Painters (4-4) are recalling Crews as they need to end a two-game slide to boost their chances in the next round
“We know Ginebra is coming off a five-game streak so we have to do our best. At the same time, a win is really important for us to get into the next round,” said head coach Caloy Garcia.
San Miguel Beer is keen to bounce back from a 103-112 loss to KaTropa as it battles the winless Road Warriors (0-8)
Meanwhile, TNT replaced import Donte Green with the 6’10 Joshua Smith, who will debut on Saturday against Alaska in an out-of-town game in Legazpi, Albay.