By TITO S. TALAO
Games Today (Smart-Araneta Coliseum)
4:15 p.m. Alaska vs Meralco
6:30 p.m. Petron vs Ginebra
Manila, Philippines – Like sisters going at each other’s hair, defending champion Petron Blaze and Barangay Ginebra, both coming out of stinging defeats and hungry for redemption, clash today in the PBA Governors Cup at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
The Boosters, 3-2, and the Kings, 2-2, tangle at 6:30 p.m., with the winner staying within striking distance of league-leader Rain or Shine which absorbed its first loss late Friday after four straight wins.
Gary David poured 30 points and Omar Sneed added 24 as Powerade rallied from a third quarter deficit to hand the Elasto Painters a 104-98 defeat.
The Tigers have won three in a row since the arrival of Sneed and now sits comfortably at third place in the standings in the company of Petron.
Still, Rain or Shine kept sole leadership, a rung ahead of BMeg which at 3-1 could draw abreast with ROS in the event of a victory over Air21 in their Phoenix Petroleum out-of-town game in Digos City, Davao del Sur last night.
In the curtain-raiser, Alaska and Meralco, tied in the cellar with 1-3 slates, meet at 4:15 p.m., with the winner getting a brief furlough.
Focus will be on the PetronGinebra game, however.
The Boosters suffered a 111-107 loss to Barako Bull on Friday despite the combined 46 points of Eddie Basden and Jay Washington as Leroy Hickerson shrugged off the effects of jetlag to deliver 32 points.
The Kings, on the other hand, were thrown off their throne after rookie Paul Lee buried a dagger 3-point shot with less than three seconds remaining to lift Rain or Shine to a 93-90 victory earlier.
Back-to-back losses by either team could put a damper on their semifinal bid.
Cedrick Bozeman, who lost the ball on Ginebra’s last play prior to Lee’s heroics, will be looking for redemption along with Commissioner’s Cup Best Player Mark Caguioa, as with Basden, Washington and the rest of the Boosters who have lost two games despite former Smart Gilas coach Rajko Toroman sitting on the bench as a consultant.
The top six teams after the single-round eliminations will move to the carry-over semifinal round, shoving the last four out of the door.