Manila Clasico showdown between Ginebra, San Mig Coffee banners rare PBA triple-header

AKTV/Paul Ryan Tan

San Mig Coffee and Barangay Ginebra San Miguel banner the PBA’s rare triple-header in the 2013 Philippine Cup on Sunday at the SMART-Araneta Coliseum.

Newcomer GlobalPort and Barako Bull meet in the first game at 3 p.m. to be followed by the interesting tussle of Meralco and Rain or Shine at 5:15 p.m.

The Coffee Mixers and the Kings then cap the busy day with their Manila Clasico collision at 7:30 p.m.

The Bolts, Elasto Painters and San Mig Coffee are locked in third place, all toting 4-2 win-loss marks, behind Alaska (5-2) and Talk ‘N Text (6-1).

The Gin Kings are currently on a four-game losing skid after starting the all-Filipino tournament with two victories.

Ginebra coach Siot Tanquingcen knows they need to end the slide to get their confidence back.

“We just have to be concentrate on the process of playing each play and not worry about the other stuff,” said Tanquingcen, whose wards are coming off an 87-69 defeat at the hands of the Aces.

Mixers coach Tim Cone expects Ginebra to come out strong.

“Does not matter what their record is. Ginebra is always incredibly challenging to play. There’s a lot of pride in that locker room and in the stands,” said Cone. “We’ll have to play a lot better than we’ve recently been playing to beat them.”

San Mig Coffee has won its last two games, but both were tight victories against Barako Bull, 92-91, on a controversial tap by Rafi Reavis last Sunday, and against GlobalPort, 82-78, last Wednesday.

In the second game, the Bolts try to extend their winning streak to three games against Rain or Shine, but coach Ryan Gregorio knows it will be a tough task.

“Big test for our team. We are facing a legit title contender. The hardest part when you play Rain or Shine is its unpredictability. So, we just have to play within our strength which is defense,” said Gregorio.

“Jeff Chan must be contained, while (Gabe) Norwood who has taken over the leadership mantle must be pressured. Their underrated bigs must be checked. Jervy Cruz, Beau Belga and Quinahan are win indicators for them.”

GlobaPort is alone at the bottom of the standings at 1-6 while Barako Bull (2-5) is on a three-game slide as both teams try to arrest their respective skids in the opener.

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