Columbian, Barangay Ginebra figure in key Govs’ cup clash
Barangay Ginebra coach Tim Cone harped about his team controlling its destiny as the battle for prime playoff positions in the PBA Governors’ Cup heats up.
Incidentally, Columbian’s young coach, Johnedel Cardel—Cone’s former player—is cashing in on the same approach as the Dyip try to stay alive.
“The bottom teams all won recently, putting pressure on our quarterfinal hopes. [Friday’s] game [against Ginebra] should be an important one,” Cardel told the Inquirer on the eve of his Dyip’s clash with the Gin Kings at Smart Araneta Coliseum in a game that could spell both teams’ fortunes in the playoff race.
Make no mistake about it, though, Columbian is battling for survival, while Ginebra is jostling for a twice-to-beat privilege in the quarterfinals.
Columbian is tied for seventh spot with NorthPort and Alaska at 4-6, and a loss in the 7 p.m. game could tell on its chances of making it past this round.
And even the absence of a key player for the Kings isn’t exactly a reason for Cardel, the former La Salle standout, to relax.
“I heard they might continue to miss Greg [Slaughter]. But I know coach Tim. He’s not one to back down,” Cardel said.
The last time these two squads met was in a no-bearing contest in the Commissioner’s Cup which the Dyip won, 127-123.
Slaughter is day-to-day for the crowd darlings because of a thumb injury. But Ginebra will be bringing a lot of steam following a high-wire escape from TNT last week.
“I just hope we’d play better this time out,” Cardel said. “These guys are still young. We’re still on the learning curve, so we’re just focusing on picking up the lessons and trying to mature.”
“Just a push and I think we’ll be fine,” Cardel added.
Out-of-it-all Phoenix Pulse and Blackwater, who both showed a lot of promise early in the season, tangle in the 4:30 p.m. game for the right to end their season on a winning note.
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