Back on top
Bouncing back from a rare loss in the PBA Governors’ Cup, Barangay Ginebra on Saturday night notched a win to reclaim top ranking—which Tim Cone won’t mind losing again.
“I don’t care about being No. 1, 2, 3 or 4,” Cone said after an 89-82 victory over Rain or Shine that sewed up a twice-to-beat advantage for the Kings. “[Being No. 1] just adds extra pressure on you. We want to win as many games as we can and if we end up No. 1, that’s great.
“But that’s not our goal, it’s top four,” he said after getting 28 points and 10 rebounds from import Justin Brownlee at Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay where the Kings picked up win No. 8 in 10 games. “It was just really important for us to get that eighth win.”
Ginebra will play TNT KaTropa to close out its elimination round schedule, and a win in that Sept. 23 game would most likely give the Kings top ranking and the lightest first-round assignment in the playoffs.
Cone said the team was still smarting from a loss to San Miguel Beer a few nights ago.
“We need to get better to reach their level,” he said. “We’re just not there yet.”
The Grand Slam-seeking Beermen formalized entry into the playoffs earlier by squeaking past KIA Picanto, 118-112.
June Mar Fajardo scored 41 points and had 17 rebounds, playing the entire second half and towing the Beermen to their sixth win in nine outings.
Fajardo scored 20 of his total in the fourth period to send KIA to its 10th straight loss.
Star and TNT KaTropa tangle in a crucial match Sunday at 6:45 p.m. at Smart Araneta Coliseum where the Hotshots debut a third import in Iceland’s Kristofer Acox.
The Texters will be gunning to improve a 6-3 card and stay well within top four contention, while the Hotshots, with a 5-3 record, will be shooting for a ticket to the next round.
Blackwater suits up new acquisition Allein Maliksi when it clashes with back-to-the-wall GlobalPort in the 4:30 p.m. game.