by Jonas Terrado
Games Today (Smart Araneta Coliseum)
4:30 p.m. – Columbian vs Magnolia
6:45 p.m. – San Miguel vs Ginebra
San Miguel Beer shoots for a second straight win while defending champion Barangay Ginebra tries to snap a two-game slide when they clash in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
The Beermen and Kings clash at 6:45 p.m. in the rematch of last year’s Commissioner’s Cup Finals as they look to climb in the standings after dealing with their own struggles in the eliminations.
SMB is coming off a 127-106 rout of erstwhile co-leader Blackwater to end a 0-2 start while Ginebra aims to redeem themselves after disappointing losses to Rain or Shine and TNT KaTropa.
Ginebra fell 104-81 to Rain or Shine last June 7 before losing a big lead in a 104-96 setback to TNT on Independence Day.
Marcio Lassiter, who scored 29 points on nine three-pointers against Blackwater, former Best Import Charles Rhodes and June Mar Fajardo are aiming to give SMB another victory.
Coach Tim Cone, meanwhile, is hoping that Ginebra can get scattered productions instead of relying too much on resident import Justin Brownlee.
The over-reliance on Brownlee didn’t sit well to Cone, whose team dropped to 2-3 after the two defeats.
Meanwhile, Magnolia collides with well-rested Columbian in the opener at 4:30 p.m.
The Hotshots shoot for a second straight victory after beating the NLEX Road Warriors, 98-88, last Friday at the Mall of Asia Arena.
Import James Farr, after a sluggish debut last Wednesday, will be aching to keep his improved play for the Hotshots.
Columbian, more than a week removed from a 120-105 win over NLEX, will parade a new import in Lester Prosper in lieu of Kyle Barone.
Rookie CJ Perez is coming off a career-high 39 points against the Road Warriors.