by Jonas Terrado
Game Saturday (Digos, Davao del Sur)
5 p.m. — Ginebra vs Blackwater
Barangay Ginebra San Miguel eyes another victory before going on a 23-day break when it battles struggling Blackwater in the PBA Philippine Cup at the Davao del Sur Coliseum in Digos City.
A win in the 5 p.m. Petron Saturday Special affair will give Ginebra a positive outlook during the lengthy respite after an inconsistent showing led to a 2-2 start in the season-opening conference.
Ginebra is coming off a 105-93 romp of the Columbian Dyip last Feb. 2 at the Ynares Center in Antipolo City, bouncing back from disappointing setbacks to defending champion San Miguel Beer and Rain or Shine.
It will be the Kings’ last game before the aforementioned break due to the PBA’s commitment to help Gilas Pilipinas prepare for the sixth and final window of the FIBA World Cup Qualifiers.
Ginebra’s next match is on March 3 against Alaska in Antipolo.
Coach Tim Cone is hoping to see the Kings play with Japeth Aguilar in tow after the athletic big man hurt his ankle against the Dyip.
The good news is that the injury appeared to be not as bad as Cone may have feared, though Aguilar’s presence remain a question mark at press time.
Greg Slaughter, averaging 15.8 points and 10.3 rebounds, will look to continue his strong play in the tournament even as LA Tenorio takes another step closing in on Alvin Patrimonio’s record for consecutive games played.
Tenorio is scheduled to play his 594th consecutive match, two shy of Patrimonio’s mark.
Scottie Thompson is also eager to make a good impression as he plays in front of hometown fans for the first time since playing in last year’s Mindanao leg of the PBA All-Star Week.
Out to spoil Ginebra’s bid is Blackwater, which seeks to score an upset win and get back on track.
The Elite hold a 1-4 record after losses to the Phoenix Pulse Fuel Masters and San Miguel.
Tags: Barangay Ginebra San Miguel , Columbian Dyip , FIBA , FIBA World Cup qualifiers , Greg Slaughter , LA Tenorio , PBA , PBA Philippine Cup , Scottie Thompson