GlobalPort is keen to grab a share of the lead currently occupied solo by defending champion San Miguel Beer when it faces Blackwater today in the Philippine Basketball Association Season 42 Philippine Cup at The Arena in San Juan City.
The Batang Pier and the Elite will meet in the second game at 7 p.m. after the 4:15 p.m. first game between the Meralco Bolts and the Phoenix Petroleum Fuel Masters.
GlobalPort’s top scorer Terrence Romeo will lead the team together with Stanley Pringle, Anthony Semerad, Mike Cortez, JR Quinahan, Von Pessumal, Billy Mamaril and Nino “KG” Canaleta. The Batang Pier hold a 3-1 win-loss record.
“We cannot underestimate this team because they are also big and fast. It will be a tough fight that’s why we need to play good defense,” said GlobalPort assistant coach John Cardel. “We are looking forward to the challenge.”
A win by the Batang Pier over the Elite will allow them to share the lead with the Beermen that are holding a 4-1 win-loss record.
Blackwater (3-2) is coming off a 96-85 win over Northern Luzon Expressway (NLEX) last December 14.
“A win tomorrow versus GlobalPort will propel us to the No. 2 spot in the team standings and that’s a scenario we would want to achieve,” Blackwater coach Leo Isaac told The Manila Times via text message. “We will play our very best to win against GlobalPort tomorrow.”
The Elite will be relying on rookie Mac Belo, Reil Cervantes, Arthur Dela Cruz, Kyle Pascual, Nards Pinto, Ronjay Buenafe and forward James Sena against the Batang Pier.
Meanwhile, Meralco is determined to bounce back from a 79-81 defeat against Alaska when it battles Phoenix Petroleum. The Bolts, under coach Norman Black, are holding a 2-2 win-loss record.
“At 2-2, we are almost in a must situation,” said Black through a text message. “A win is important to stay out of the bottom four. Our defense versus their three-point shooters will be our main challenge, as they are one of the best shooting teams in the league.”
The Bolts will be leaning on the prowess of Chris Newsome, Cliff Hodge, Baser Amer, Joseph Yeo, Rabeh Al-Hussaini, Reynel Hugnatan, Kelly Nabong and Jared Dillinger.
“For our part, we just have to do a better job at the end game and pull out victories.”
Phoenix Petroleum (2-3) is bent on stopping a two-game skid when they meet the Bolts.
“We will go back to the basic to find ourselves. It was a tough two last games. But as long as we can do the little things, we can be able to get back on track,” said Phoenix coach Ariel Vanguardia.
Phoenix will be relying on Cyrus Baguio, JC Intal, rookie Matthew Wright, Simon Enciso, John Wilson and Norbert Torres when they face the Bolts.