(Mall of Asia Arena)
4:30 p.m. – TNT KaTropa vs Phoenix
7 p.m. – Kia vs Ginebra
Whether Barangay Ginebra San Miguel has gotten coach Tim Cone’s message loud and clear will be known tonight when it seeks to get back on the winning track against tailender Kia in the PBA Philippine Cup at the Mall of Asia Arena.
Cone was so upset with the way Ginebra blew a 14-point third quarter lead in Saturday’s 81-78 loss to NLEX that he slammed the locker room door upon leaving the Cuneta Astrodome, presumably without speaking to his players.
The stunning defeat, which saw the returning Greg Slaughter missing a second free throw that would have tied the score at 79-all in the dying seconds, sent Ginebra to its fourth loss in five games after a 2-0 start.
But Cone remains confident that Ginebra can get out of its 3-4 record and reclaim the old winning form its legion of supporters have been familiar with.
“It has certainly been a struggle this conference – we’ve been kind of battling ourselves – but we will smooth ourselves out and be there at the end,” Cone tweeted Sunday.
Slaughter, who will likely be put under minute restriction after recently recovering from a hamstring injury, join hands with LA Tenorio, Japeth Aguilar and Scottie Thompson in the Kings’ bid to get out of the slump.
Jervy Cruz and Raymund Aguilar are also expected to continue their solid showings in lieu of Joe Devance’s absence.
Kia, the league’s worst team at 1-6, tries to produce an upset behind Rashawn McCarthy, Jackson Corpuz and Reden Celda.
TNT KaTropa and Phoenix meet in the first game at 4:30 p.m. as they resume their quest to gain better positioning in the quarterfinals.
The KaTropa hold a 4-3 record and are eyeing the solo fourth spot while trying to catch up on the defending champion San Miguel Beermen, Magnolia Hotshots Pambansang Manok and Alaska Aces, all with six wins apiece.
The Fuel Masters see action for the first time since their upset win over Ginebra last Jan. 27, aiming to improve on their 3-4 record.