Meralco and Barangay Ginebra San Miguel are both eyeing a twice-to-beat in the quarterfinal and a sixth win when they clash at 6:45 p.m. tonight in Season 44 Philippine Basketball Association Governors’ Cup at the Araneta Coliseum.
The Bolts and the Gin Kings, holding similar 5-2 win-loss records, are both keen to snatch the solo third.
“It’s an important game for both teams as we battle for the twice-to-beat advantage. Ginebra has been playing well so we have to bring our A to give ourselves a good chance of winning,” said Meralco coach Norman Black.
“Justin (Brownlee) is their leader but to beat them you have to match their teamwork.”
Meralco will be pitting its two-time Best Import Allen Durham against Justin Brownlee.
Durham registered an average of 29.1 points, eight rebounds and 7.1 assists while Brownlee’s is 29.7 points, 15.1 rebounds and 9.8 assists in seven games.
New recruits Allein Maliksi and Reymar Jose are expected to step up anew with Raymund Almazan, Baser Amer and Chris Newsome as the Bolts try to extend their three-game winning streak.
Meanwhile, the Gin Kings notched their fourth straight win last Wednesday with a 101-93 thrashing of Blackwater. Brownlee finished with a triple-double of 17 points, 12 rebounds and 11 assists.
“We got Meralco coming up, one of the league leaders and they have been playing well. They just blew out San Miguel Beer. We are going to have play a lot, lot better than we played against Blackwater on both sides of the court to be able to compete with Meralco,” said Ginebra coach Tim Cone.
“We had so many battles with Durham and that Meralco team, it’s going to be another one and we know that.”
Meanwhile, Northport aims for win No. 4 and the .500 mark when it battles Alaska in the 4:30 p.m. first game.
The Batang Pier (3-4) want their third straight win while the Aces (2-6) are hoping to stay in contention for a quarterfinal spot.