Tigers, Kings tackle ousted foesBy Musong R. Castillo
Philippine Daily Inquirer
Powerade guns for a berth in the semifinals when the Tigers battle the reeling Air21 Express today in the PBA Governors’ Cup eliminations at the Smart Araneta Coliseum in Cubao.
The Tigers are heavily favored to deal the out-of-it-all Express a fifth straight loss while matching the tournament’s longest winning streak of five in the 7:30 p.m. game.
If they win, the Tigers will march to the playoffs for the second time this season and get another crack at surpassing their surprising second place finish to Talk ‘N Text in the Philippine Cup.
Barangay Ginebra also takes on an ousted foe in Alaska in the 5:15 p.m. game, looking for a win that would enhance its chances of making the next round without a hitch.
Only six teams will advance to the semifinals, and the jockeying for position reaches fever pitch starting with tonight’s doubleheader. The elimination round ends after four more playdates.
As it is, Rain or Shine, at 6-1, and idle B-Meg, at 5-2, have already booked stints to the next round. If the Tigers and the Gin Kings prevail today as expected, Talk ‘N Text, Barako Bull and Meralco would fall at least a full game behind.
Gary David’s streak of 19 games with more than 20 points to his credit was snapped in the last Powerade victory, and the prime MVP candidate is expected to start another scoring run against a side that could face all sorts of problems defending him.
Omar Sneed, who has made the Tigers invincible, will be going for a fifth straight winning outing against Zach Graham, the tournament’s leading scorer with an average of 37 points a night.
Meanwhile, Ogie Menor of the Express will serve out a one-game suspension tonight after knocking down Meralco import Mario West with a vicious forearm Wednesday night in a lopsided loss.
Menor, who was thrown out for the third time this season, was also fined P10,000 for the “strong, vicious blow to the head without any chance of reaching the ball.”