(Smart Araneta Coliseum)
4:30 p.m. – NLEX vs Rain or Shine
7 p.m. – Ginebra vs Phoenix
Barangay Ginebra San Miguel tries to snap a two-game skid tonight when it takes on Phoenix in the PBA Philippine Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
The Kings, carrying a 2-2 record, are hoping to finally get back on track in the 7 p.m. match with the Fuel Masters after double-digit losses at the hands of the Blackwater Elite and Alaska Aces.
A victory over Phoenix would give Ginebra the needed momentum before battling defending champion San Miguel on Sunday, also at the Big Dome.
The Beermen are unbeaten after five games and are coming off a 107-93 victory over the GlobalPort Batang Pier.
But first, coach Tim Cone and the rest of the Kings are focused on fixing whatever problems they have following a 94-77 defeat to Blackwater last Jan. 12 and the 97-83 loss to Alaska nine days later.
“We’ve been hit hard by the injury bug so far this conference, but the other teams are not going to give us a break because of that, of course,” said Cone, whose team is missing badly the presence of veteran forward Joe Devance.
Devance is still recovering from a foot injury that bothered him last season.
“We just have to keep fighting through it and keep looking for that next man up,” added Cone, whose team also missed 7-foot center Greg Slaughter to a hamstring injury against Alaska.
Phoenix (2-3) will try to extend Ginebra’s woes but is also having its own struggles after dropping two in a row against Rain or Shine and Magnolia.
Meanwhile, Rain or Shine and NLEX face off at 4:30 p.m. without big men Raymond Almazan and Michael Miranda, who will serve their one-game suspension for separate incidents.
Almazan was given the ban along with a P20,000 fine when he figured in a fight with Kia’s Eric Camson during the second game of the Elasto Painters 98-94 loss Saturday at the Cuneta Astrodome while Miranda kicked San Miguel’s Chris Ross in the Road Warriors’ 109-98 defeat Friday at the same venue.
Both teams are locked in a six-way share of sixth to 11th places at 2-3.