by Jonas Terrado
Games Today (Smart Araneta Coliseum)
4:30 p.m. – San Miguel vs Columbian
6:45 p.m. – Ginebra vs Alaska
Defending champion Barangay Ginebra and San Miguel Beer eye bounce-back victories when they face separate rivals in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
The Kings face the well-rested Alaska Aces in the main game at 6:45 p.m. after the Beermen play the struggling Columbian Dyip in the opener at 4:30 p.m.
Both teams suffered disappointing losses this week and are eager to get back on track in order to gain spots in the eight-team playoffs.
Ginebra wasted a 14-point third quarter and allowed Phoenix Pulse to score 45 points in that period to suffer a 111-103 loss last Friday.
“We gave up 40 points or something and that’s very unlikely of us,” said Ginebra import Justin Brownlee. “That is something that we don’t want to do. If we want to win going forward, we just have to play our defense.”
Coach Tim Cone and the Kings fell to 4-4 for a three-way share for fifth with the Fuel Masters and the Aces, who will welcome back Diamon Simpson as replacement for Chris Daniels.
It will be Simpson’s third stint with Alaska after steering the Cone-mentored Aces to the 2010 Fiesta Conference crown and helping the Aces reach last season’s Commissioner’s Cup semifinals.
San Miguel, meanwhile, was handed its worst defeat of the conference by Magnolia, 118-82, two days ago.
The Beermen are currently in 10th position at 2-4, an unfamiliar territory for the team used to be in the upper echelon of the standings.
Making a turnaround is now needed more than ever for coach Leo Austria and the Beermen.
Columbian sits at the bottom of the standings at 1-6 but is capable of pulling off an upset.