Ginebra serious business in this latest outing vs TNT

Gin Kings have serious business in this latest outing vs TNT

/ 05:15 AM December 25, 2023

Scottie Thompson Ginebra PBA

Ginebra guard Scottie Thompson. –PBA IMAGES

Tim Cone has always acknowledged the difficulty of having to work on Christmas Day, even if Barangay Ginebra has been almost an annual fixture on such special occasion.

“It’s difficult with all the distractions, but it’s also an honor,” said Cone as the Gin Kings face the TNT Tropang Giga in a crucial tiff for both teams in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup.


The 8 p.m. game at Smart Araneta Coliseum marks the sixth straight time Ginebra will play on Christmas, including last year’s Commissioner’s Cup Finals opener against the Bay Area Dragons, which it ended up winning.


This time, it will be about Ginebra’s bid to stay in contention for the elusive twice-to-beat advantage in the quarterfinals. Ginebra is tied for fourth at 5-3 with San Miguel Beer, which takes on upstart Phoenix in the 4 p.m. opener.

READ: Tim Cone admits Ginebra fate not completely in its hands

The top four teams qualify for the quarterfinal bonus, with Magnolia securing one of those spots thanks to its league-best 9-1 (win-loss) record.

Cone and the Gin Kings are coming off a convincing win on Friday against a hot Meralco Bolts side that snapped a two-game skid. But the veteran mentor wants nothing more than a victory the rest of the way to get a chance at the bonus.

“There are certainly a lot of things going on, family-wise, and we recognize that. So it’s really up to us to get through it,” said Cone. “Basically every game is a do-or-die for us because the twice-to-beat is a huge advantage.”

Seesaw ride

The game is also crucial for TNT, currently on a seesaw ride with an even 4-4 record and with a distant chance of getting the twice-to-beat—unless it wins all of its remaining eliminations assignment.

TNT is also fighting to keep its inside track for the quarterfinals, sitting at seventh with Rain or Shine (4-5) and NLEX (3-6) not far behind.


Attention will also be on how the Tropang Giga play minus import Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, who left late in Wednesday’s breakthrough triumph over the Taipei Fubon Braves in the East Asia Super League after colliding with an opposing player in the fourth.

Tropang Giga coach Jojo Lastimosa said Hollis-Jefferson needs to undergo more tests and has been scratched for the game, leaving them with an all-Filipino lineup.

The opener will see if Phoenix, ranked second in the table at 7-1, is a team that can legitimately compete against the traditional contenders like San Miguel.

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TAGS: Barangay Ginebra, Christmas Day, Gin Kings, PBA, TNT Tropang Giga

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