Barangay Ginebra and Meralco travel to Lapu Lapu City in Cebu Saturday with both trying to get back on the winning track in the PBA Governors’ Cup eliminations.
The Kings and the Bolts square off at 6:45 p.m. with each team hoping to bounce back from a loss.
Ginebra surrendered a 96-88 decision to B-MEG while Meralco absorbed a 101-88 loss to defending champion Petron Blaze in their previous games.
“Another big challenge for us. Ginebra’s roster is solid and like us we are both aching to bounce back strong,” said Bolts head coach Ryan Gregorio, whose main goal is to slow the Kings’ reinforcement Cedric Bozeman.
“Bozeman is a quality import who can possess match-up problems. We must be ready to neutralize him,” Gregorio added.
Bozeman is averaging 29.5 points and 11.5 rebounds in two games so far in the tournament.
Ginebra mentor Siot Tanquingcen hopes their defense would hold on against an offensive-minded team like the Bolts who have an explosive import in Champ Oguchi and the high-scoring backcourt tandem of Sol Mercado and Mark Cardona.
“Meralco has the ability to put up points in bunches that’s why defense is important,” said Tanquingcen, who is expected to utilize rookie Dylan Ababou against Meralco to guard Cardona.
Ababou was benched by Tanquingcen in their loss to the Llamados.
Meanwhile, Gregorio said Oguchi must have a strong game against the Kings and the locals must contribute as well.
“Oguchi must step up and play much stronger on both ends. While Sol and Mac must be in sync on offense, Asi (Taulava) and Jay-R (Reyes) must compete against Ginebra’s frontline,” he said.
» Caption This: Mark Caguioa looks a bit different, and why is he with Alaska fans in the stands?
» LA Tenorio sees runner-up finish as stepping stone for future Ginebra championship
» New face of Alaska: Fred Uytengsu sees bright future for star rookie Calvin Abueva