Meralco Bolts, Ginebra Kings unveil new imports | Inquirer Sports

Meralco Bolts, Ginebra Kings unveil new imports

By: - Reporter / @MusongINQ
/ 12:57 AM April 02, 2014

Jared Dillinger of Meralco (dark) vs Mark Caguioa of Ginebra (light). PBA IMAGE by Nuki Sabio

MANILA, Philippines — Alaska and Meralco try to stay in the upper half of the standings Wednesday when they clash with separate foes seeking to crawl into the playoff picture in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup at Smart Araneta Coliseum.

The defending champion Aces shoot for a third straight win in their 5:45 p.m. clash with dangerous Barako Bull and Josh Dollard, while the Bolts unveil a new import in Darnell Jackson against Barangay Ginebra at 8 p.m.

Ginebra, one of the biggest underachievers here thus far, will also be trying out a new reinforcement in Josh Powell, who takes over the ineffective Leon Rodgers.

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Powell arrived Tuesday morning and practiced with the squad straight from the airport. The Bolts, meanwhile, placed Bryan Butch on the injured list.

With 3-3 slates, the Bolts and the Aces are tied with idle Rain or Shine and Air21, and victories would give them a momentary tie for fourth place, hence an equal chance in the quarterfinal round.

Teams that finish seventh and eighth will be handicapped severely as they would need to defeat Nos. 2 and 1, respectively, two straight games to advance to the Final Four.

Only the bottom two teams in the 10-team field will get the boot, while those who qualify as Nos. 3 and 4 clash with Nos. 6 and 5, respectively, in best-of-three series for places in the semifinals. As it is, Talk ‘N Text, after an 81-75 win over San Mig Coffee on Monday, booked the No. 1 ranking, while Globalport (0-7) is just another loss from being the first eliminated squad.

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Going into the last two weeks of this round, San Miguel Beer and San Mig Coffee are in a race for the No. 2 spot and the last twice-to-beat privilege and only a tailspin by both can get another team into the picture.

The Aces will be coming off their biggest victory of the conference thus far, an upset of the fancied Beermen and Kevin Jones in Biñan, Laguna, last Saturday where they flaunted defending champion’s form for the first time.

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Robert Dozier has been consistent, but the biggest difference in the last two Alaska wins has been the support of its local crew led by Cyrus Baguio, JV Casio and Gabby Espinas.

Sonny Thoss will be coming off a horrid offensive night in Biñan after spending himself out defending June Mar Fajardo.

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TAGS: Alaska Aces, Barako Bull, Brian Butch, Commissioner's Cup, Darnell Jackson, GINEBRA, Josh Powell, Leon Rodgers, Meralco Bolts, PBA

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