BARANGAY Ginebra is turning the Smart Araneta Coliseum into a veritable homecourt.
Unknown to many, Barangay Ginebra has the best record in the historic venue in the ongoing 2015 PBA Commissioner’s Cup. If the trend continues, it may not be an entirely bad idea to rename it 'Barangay Big Dome.'
You see, all four of the Kings’ wins came at the Big Dome - 95-82 over San Miguel Beer last February 8; 100-92 over KIA Motors last February 13; 96-87 over defending champion Purefoods Star and 89-82 over Blackwater in their most recent asssignment last Wednesday.
Ginebra is one of only two undefeated teams at the Smart Araneta Coliseum in this midseason conference, the other team being Meralco (2-0).
The Kings has lost thrice outside the Big Dome - two at the MOA Arena (85-74 to Meralco last January 27 and 104-103 to Talk ‘N Text last February 15) and one at the Alonte Sports Arena in Binan, Laguna (69-68 to Barako Bull last February 1).
With its 4-3 win-loss record, Barangay Ginebra currently is in a three-way tie for fifth place in the team standings with the Hotshots and GlobalPort and on course for a high placing entering the playoffs.
Problem is, only one of the Gin Kings' last four assignments will be played at the Smart Araneta Coliseum, the very last game in the eliminations against the Aces.
Their four remaining games, dates and venue are as follows:
Versus NLEX on March 11 at Ynares Center-Antipolo
Versus Rain or Shine on March 15 at the Cuneta Astrodome
Versus GlobalPort on March 21 in Lucena City
versus Alaska on March 25 ar the Smart Araneta Coliseum
Ginebra isn’t just eyeing a place in the eight team conference playoffs. The Kings are looking to advance to a 24th straight conference playoffs to equal San Miguel Beer’s own streak from 1996 up to 2005.
The Kings have never missed the playoffs over the last eight seasons but has just five PBA Finals stints and two championships to show in those 23 straight conference playoffs appearances - in the 2008 Fiesta Conference with Chris Alexander as import and in the 2006-07 Philippine Cup.
Both championships, incidentally, came with now Talk ‘N Text head coach Jong Uichico calling the shots.
The last time Ginebra failed to advance to the playoffs was in the 2005 Fiesta Conference when it was booted out in the wildcard phase of the elims by Red Bull.