WILL the victory of boxing icon Manny Pacquiao saves Kia Sorento as it faces defending champion Purefoods Star Hotshots today in the 40th Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) Philippine Cup at the Ynares Sports Center in Antipolo City.
Kia playing coach Pacquiao will not still suit up for the team today but his triumph over Chris Algieri in Macau on Sunday boosted the morale of the expansion team when they battle against Purefoods at 7 p.m. following Barako Bull Energy Drink and Blackwater Elite’s encounter at 4:15 p.m.
Both Kia Sorento and Blackwater, which joined the professional league only this season are in danger of bowing out early at the end of the elimination round as only 10 of the 12 teams will advance into the next round.|
The four-peat champion Purefoods is actually aiming for its fourth straight win and their fifth overall in the All-Filipino conference to solidify a big comeback after a 0-2 start. It’s recent victim was Meralco Bolts, 77-74, courtesy of Peter June Simon, Mark Barroca,
Yousif Taha and James Yap, who combined for 59 points and 23 rebounds on Sunday.
Pacquiao’s Kia, on the other hand, has only a lone win to show after eight matches. It’s only victory was at the expense of also newcomer Blackwater, 66-80, during the opening day on October 19 at the Philippine Arena in Bocaue, Bulacan.
In the other game, cellar dweller Blackwater Elite of coach Leo Isaac remain winless in 8 outings and will be meeting Barako Bull, which is bearing a 2-6 win-loss slate for solo 10th spot. Rookie coach Koy Banal of the Energy Cola wants his wards to bounce back after a 106-122 setback to Talk ‘N Text also on Sunday.