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PBA: Hotshots, Gin Kings in vital tiff

Alaska's Vic Manuel

By JONAS TERRADO

Games Today
(Smart Araneta Coliseum)
4:30 p.m. – Meralco vs Alaska
6:45 p.m. – Ginebra vs Magnolia

Alaska and Meralco face off in a game that has many implications in the race for the twice-to-beat advantage while Barangay Ginebra San Miguel and Magnolia meet in an important match today in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

vic manuel

A big crowd is expected to fill the Big Dome with Ginebra and Magnolia, two of the league’s most popular teams, facing off in the latest chapter of their so-called “Manila Clasico” rivalry set at 6:45 p.m.

But the 4:30 p.m. opener between Alaska and Meralco could also give the audience a treat as the two clubs are aiming to secure a top two finish and the twice-to-beat bonus in the quarters.

The Aces carry a 7-1 record after seven straight victories while the Bolts are at 6-2. Both teams won their respective matches two nights ago in a prelude to today’s encounter.

Alaska has shown it can win despite the indefinite suspension of Calvin Abueva and rookie Jeron Teng’s recovery from stab wounds, with Vic Manuel emerging as the surprise leader of the bunch.

Manuel remains as the league’s top local scorer with 24.5 points highlighted by seven straight games of at least 20.

But the Aces face a big test in stopping a Bolts squad powered by import Arinze Onuaku, whose big presence has been a key for coach Norman Black.

Meanwhile, Ginebra and Magnolia are expected to play as if there’s no tomorrow as a loss will put them in danger zone in the quarters race.

Ginebra snapped a three-game skid last week with a rout of NLEX while Magnolia snapped a similar slump last Wednesday by pulling TNT KaTropa.

Ginebra carries a 2-5 record while Magnolia is inside the top eight with an even 4-4 slate.

GINEBRA 3X3 TILT
Team Tenorio-Davao and Team Jamito-Nueva Ecija emerged as the worthy finalists in the Ginebra San Miguel 3×3 Tapang ng Tatluhan basketball tournament.

The pair of squads bested 14 other teams during the final phase of the national finals last Friday at the Robinson’s Place-Manila in Ermita and, in the process, kept their respective bids alive of becoming the second tourney champion.

Nelson Caduco exploded just in time as he steered Team Jamito-Nueva Ecija to a 21-14 win over Team Ferrer-Pampanga in the first semifinals.

Not to be outdone was Team Tenorio-Davao, thanks to Jummel Perdido who drained the game-winning basket as they escaped Team Slaughter-Davao, 21-20. (With a report from Jerome Lagunzad)

What do you think?

Written by Tempo Online

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