SMB vs Ginebra preview
The marquee match-up between sister teams is set at 6 p.m. in another test for both teams.
Coming off a victory over last year’s runners-up Magnolia, 87-81, last Friday, San Miguel, unbeaten after three games, now faces the champions from two years ago that ended its reign of five straight titles in the Philippine Cup. Ginebra was also the champions from last season’s Governors’ Cup just last April.
The Gins, on the other hand, picked up their third win in four outings after winning over NLEX, 83-75, in a comeback from 19 points down.
Ginebra coach Tim Cone noted how huge the NLEX victory was heading into the game against the mighty San Miguel squad.
“The guys did a great job of turning themselves around mentality, just stay in the game, until they get a little run going, a little momentum. And the momentum just caught with the crowd just carried us all the way to the end.”
“It’s a big win because obviously, you are going up against a super strong San Miguel team. You don’t want to go in there on a two-game losing streak trying to beat them and try to get your health back because you are not going to get healthy against San Miguel. You’ll be pummeled even some more. It was important to have that opportunity to play San Miguel coming off a win and feeling confident rather than feeling down,” said Cone.
San Miguel is coming into the match with injured players led by Chris Ross, who missed the majority of the game against Magnolia due to a non-contact injury in his right knee. Fortunately, doctors have ruled out an ACL tear as Ross had a contusion in that knee.
Vic Manuel also had a calf injury which led to limited playing time against the Hotshots, while Terrence Romeo is not yet expected to come back anytime soon.
“It’s our main concern,” said SMB coach Leo Austria, referring to the injuries. “In the last two seasons, that was our main problem. In the bubble, we didn’t have June Mar and Terrence. In Game Seven [in last year’s Philippine Cup semifinals], three of our players got injured.”
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