PBA: Ginebra, NLEX seek semis

Basketball Court | Pixabay
Basketball Court | Pixabay


Games Today
(Smart Araneta Coliseum)
4:30 p.m. – Ginebra vs Rain or Shine
(Ginebra leads series 1-0)
7 p.m. – Alaska vs NLEX
(NLEX leads series 1-0)

Barangay Ginebra San Miguel and NLEX hope to finish off their quarterfinal rivals today and secure berths in the best-of-seven semifinals in the PBA Philippine Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

After winning the first quarterfinal doubleheader Monday at the Mall of Asia Arena, both teams brace for another difficult battle when they go the sweep of their respective best-of-three series and advance to the final four of the PBA’s preeminent tournament.

Ginebra takes on Rain or Shine at 4:30 p.m., returning to the same venue where the two squads battled to a three-overtime period Friday that saw the Kings come away with a 100-92 victory.

The Kings didn’t need another marathon match two nights ago, leaning on a fourth quarter run led by Joe Devance to beat the Elasto Painters, 88-80.

Devance led a 12-0 run to help Ginebra break away from a slim 70-69 lead while Scottie Thompson nearly had a triple-double with 15 points, 17 rebounds and seven assists.

Ginebra coach Tim Cone doesn’t see Rain or Shine give the series that easily after needing 11 periods to beat the Elasto Painters twice in three days.

“Beating a team like Rain or Shine three games in a row is gonna be really, really difficult,” Cone said. “But we want to get a leg up on the series and we did. It doesn’t guarantee us anything, all it does is just gives us a leg up. Hopefully, we go in with a 0-0 mentality on Wednesday.”

Rain or Shine veteran Beau Belga vowed to see the team give everything it could and force a rubber match on Friday.

“Parang binigyan namin sila ng leeway na gawin ang lahat ng gusto nila sa amin. So come Wednesday, sabi sa amin na let’s just play hard,” said Belga, who had 17 points and five rebounds for the Painters. “Hindi mo naman alam kung anong magiging resulta e and alam namin sa sarili namin na kaya namin yung Ginebra.”

Meanwhile, NLEX shoots for its first-ever semifinals berth in the 7 p.m. contest with an Alaska team that felt like it threw a chance taking the series opener after rallying from 11 points down in the second to take the lead for most of the fourth quarter.

A four-point play by Larry Fonacier and Kiefer Ravena’s heroics in the endgame keyed the Road Warriors’ victory over the Aces, 105-99, for its first playoff win in franchise history.

Road Warriors coach Yeng Guiao cautioned his players from complacency, saying: “Magaling ang Alaska sa playoffs. The biggest mistake we can make is to think that we can have an easier time the next time.”

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Written by Tempo Online

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