Ginebra, B-Meg dispute title slot
BATTLE-Weary yet pumped up, crowd-darling Barangay Ginebra seeks payback against a B-Meg team that denied the Gin Kings a finals spot in the previous conference when they collide tonight in a PBA Commissioner’s Cup do-or-die duel at Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Gametime is 6:45 p.m. with the Gin Kings—the hottest team in the semifinals —hoping to finally nail a finals berth after falling short against the Llamados in their best-of-five series in the Commissioner’s Cup a couple of months ago.
B-Meg, which eventually bagged the Commissioner’s Cup title, and Ginebra try to seal a championship showdown with Rain or Shine starting this Sunday.
The finals appearance is the first in six seasons for Rain or Shine.
Ginebra lived to fight another day after slipping past Talk ‘N Text, 73-71, Wednesday night, setting the stage for a knockout duel against B-Meg, which bowed to Rain or Shine, 82-92, earlier.
The Gin Kings have won four of their last five games, but their last loss came from the Llamados last Sunday, 82-70.
“We’re not finished yet,” said Ginebra coach Siot Tanquincen. “We were blessed with a win against Talk ‘N Text. But we’re not contented. We’re not contented of what we can become.”
Tanquincen admitted B-Meg outplayed them the last time out, but vowed a different Ginebra team will show up tonight.
The Gin Kings drew superb efforts from Mark Caguioa and Cedric Bozeman in the win against Talk ‘N Text.
Caguioa topscored with 18 points, while Bozeman added 16, although it was the import’s defense on Paul Harris in the dying seconds that proved crucial for the Gin Kings’ escape.
Tanquincen has been raving at the way his team has been defending: “We’re not getting our points, but we’re getting possessions which is equally important.”
B-Meg coach Tim Cone could not help but hide his disappointment at the Llamados’ effort against the Elasto Painters.
“We weren’t ready tonight,” said Cone as he rued the missed opportunity of reaching the finals first. “(It’s) definitely upsetting. But we’ll be ready Friday.”
The Llamados are hoping that import Marcus Blakely continues his solid play and James Yap recovers from a so-so outing against Rain or Shine to enhance their chances of winning back-to-back titles to end the season.
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