Basketball

San Mig Coffee tries to bounce back vs Air 21; Meralco takes on GlobalPort

AKTV/Paul Ryan Tan

San Mig Coffee and Meralco hope to bury the bitter memories of their painful losses as they collide with separate foes in the 2013 PBA Philippine Cup on Friday at the SMART-Araneta Coliseum.

With both teams came off tragic defeats, the Mixers and the Bolts gun for a win that would put them back in the race for a better spot in the next round.

Meralco battles the beleaguered GlobalPort in the opener at 5:15 p.m. while San Mig Coffee squares off with Air 21 in the main tiff at 7:30 p.m.

The Bolts blew a 26-point lead against Rain or Shine last Wednesday in a physical encounter to yield a 102-98 result.

“We were not able to finish the fight on a high note against Rain or Shine. While it is smart to forget the outcome of the game, we definitely want to make sure that the lessons learned are taken to heart. No time to dwell on the past,” said Meralco coach Ryan Gregorio.

“We must shake it off and try harder again. Things that hurt must instruct. Painful indeed, but the world will not stop for us.”

The loss was second in a row for the Bolts, who joined Barangay Ginebra San Miguel at joint fourth place with identical 5-5 win-loss marks.

Meralco will be up against the 1-9 Batang Pier, who are in danger of becoming the first team to be booted out of the season-opening tournament.

“It’s a must win for us,” said GlobalPort coach Glen Capacio. “We just have to play as team on offense and defense. We have to play well and make it hard for them to execute for them to respect us.”

Batang Pier’s only win in the tournament was against Meralco, 105-104, at SM Mall of Asia Arena.

“Global has a lot of scorers that we can’t take for granted. Last time we played them, we played with fire and we got burned,” said Gregorio, who received a double black eye in that game as he and members of his coaching staff were victimized by a theft inside their locker room.

In the main game, San Mig Coffee (7-3) tries to recover from a 29-point loss it absorbed to Talk ‘N Text as it seeks for a win over the 4-6 Express.

The Tropang Texters snapped the five-game winning run of the Coffee Mixers last Wednesday with an emphatic 92-63 win.

“TNT ripped us to threads and embarrassed us and that’s totally on me as head coach. I obviously didn’t have our guys prepared to play,” said San Mig Coffee coach Tim Cone.

“But because we have a quick turnaround, we’ll put it away for now and revisit now that performance at a later date.”

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