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PBA: Petron battles Ginebra cagers tonight

Games Today (SM MoA Arena)
4:15 p.m. ­ Air21 vs Meralco
6:30 p.m. ­ Petron Blaze vs Barangay Ginebra

Manila, Philippines – One of two teams ­ Petron Blaze and Barangay Ginebra San Miguel ­ staring at a third straight loss is about to get a throbbing headache to go with blood shot eyes.

The Boosters and the Kings clash at 6:30 p.m. in the PBA Philippine Cup tonight at the SM Mall of Asia Arena, with the winner getting a big exhale and the loser spiraling down into uncertainty.

Ginebra is tied with three other teams with 2-2 slates at fourth place, while Petron, picked by everybody during the off-season as the team to beat, is amazingly languishing at the cellar with newcomer Globalport and Air21 on 1-3 cards.

A fourth loss would be completely embarrassing for the Boosters, considering their powerhouse lineup.

Ginebra has dropped its last two games against Meralco in Digos City, Davao del Sur and Barako Bull at the Smart Araneta Coliseum, while Petron has first succumbed to San Mig Cof fee and then to the Alaska Aces and rookie sensation Calvin Abueva, whose beastly double double debut two nights ago overwhelmed the Boosters.

Petron gives away a 6-foot-10 handicap to Ginebra as No. 1 pick June Mar Fajardo seems headed for surgery to alleviate a swollen scrotum which took an accidental hit during their game with San Mig Coffee.

In the first game, meanwhile, the Meralco Bolts revisit a nightmarish location when they take on the Air21 Express at 4:15 p.m. in the same venue where they got robbed last Wednesday.

The Bolts lost no less than P200,000 in cash and electronic gadgets to thieves who broke into their locker room at the height of their game with Globalport.

Hardest hit was Meralco coach Ryan Gregorio who lost his wallet and credit cards, his cell phone, and an iPad containing all his coaching and scouting files.

The crime was perpetrated despite the presence of uniformed security guards around the dugout area.

And though CCTV cameras are everywhere, no suspect has yet been identified four days after.

Meralco holds a 2-2 slate, while Air21 is at 1-3.

The games between Rain or Shine and Globalport, and San Mig Coffee with defending champion Talk `N Text, were ongoing at presstime.

Meanwhile, Barako Bull shocked Barangay Ginebra San Miguel, 92-82, late Friday night to move into a share of fourth place with the Alaska Aces, Meralco Bolts, and the Kings on 2-2 slates.

Sean Anthony had 22 points and Josh Urbiztondo 19 as the Energy Cola handed the wobbly Kings their second straight loss. (Tito S. Talao)

Scores: BARAKO 92 ­ Anthony 21, Uriztondo 19, Pennisi 11, Tubid 10, Villanueva 9, Najorda 7, Yap 6, Seigle 3, Alvarez 2, Ballesteros 2, Kramer 2.

GINEBRA 82 ­ Caguioa 21, Raymundo 11, Mamaril 10, Ellis 8, Jensen 8, Tenorio 6, Wilson 6, Maliksi 5, Maierhofer 5, Hatfield 2, Cortez 0, Helterbrand 0.

Quarters: 27-22, 48-44, 68-69, 92-82.