Big game-Kings play R-warriors

October 04, 2018
Mike Harris of Alaska and Gabe Norwood
Mike Harris of Alaska and Gabe Norwood

LOSING men to injuries remains a  major concern of Barangay Ginebra in the PBA Governors’ Cup.

But so far, the Gin Kings are able to keep themselves in the thick of things in the season-ending conference.

“Injuries continue to hound us with Joe Devance now out for the next 3-4 weeks,” said Ginebra coach Tim Cone, whose Gin Kings managed to pull off a pair of big victories despite a depleted lineup.

“We’re hoping Japeth can join us for this weekend, and Greg and Sol are just around the corner in terms of returning to the lineup,” added Cone.

Devance, one of those who delivered clutch plays when the Gin Kings outsteadied Phoenix, 101-99, in Cagayan de Oro City last Sept. 29, will be out as Ginebra plays un unpredictable NLEX today.

The Gin Kings meet the Road Warriors in the 7 p.m. main offering of an explosive double-header that will also see Blackwater collide with Meralco in the opening tussle at 4:30 p.m. at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

“We have another tough back-to-back this weekend with NLEX and Meralco,” said Cone. “NLEX has been very good and efficient offensively and we’ll have to figure a way to defend them.”

The Gin Kings are currently sharing the lead with Magnolia at 5-1, while the Road Warriors are in the middle of the standings with their 4-2 card.

The Elite meanwhile try to rebound from an ugly 124-106 loss to the Road Warriors last Sept. 26 and rediscover the form that led them to a franchise best 4-0 start.

Blackwater is looking for its fifth win in six outings that will enable it to stay on the upper half of the standings as the elimination round heads to the crucial stretch.

Meralco incidentally is also trying to fuel its wilting campaign, hence the Elite could expect a tough time playing the Bolts.

Blackwater coach Bong Ramos nevertheless is fully aware of the situation they are in.

“Meralco’s standings is 1-3. Bad start for them, but they are one of the expected strong teams this conference,” noted Ramos. “If Meralco will be able to regroup they are really strong.”

The Bolts, the losing finalists in the last two editions of the conference, are on a three-game slide, but they remain dangerous for anyone.

The Bolts will continue to play without Jared Dillinger and Ranidel de Ocampo, but they have reigning back-to-back Best Import Allen Durham, Chris Newsome and Cliff Hodge among others who are just as dependable as others are.