BARANGAY Ginebra and Globalport fight for the remaining playoff spots when they collide in a crucial PBA Commissioner’s Cup-Petron Saturday Special match at the Quezon Convention Center in Lucena.
Both teams have lost their last two games since the All-Star break and will try to arrest their respective skids in a bid to pump back life to their sagging playoff fortunes in the 5 p.m. match.
Ginebra playmaker LA Tenorio said overcoming the team’s struggles boils down to right execution of plays, noting how the Kings blew big leads in their past two games that led to heartbreaking losses against NLEX (96-90) and Rain or Shine (82-79).
“It’s a crucial game for us. Dikit-dikit kasi ang mga teams kaya malaking bagay kung maka-lapit kami sa goal na makapasok sa playoffs,” said Tenorio, who is averaging 11.1 points, 4.0 assists, and 3.5 rebounds this conference.
“Maganda yung preparation (in practice) so it’s a matter of executing na lang.”
Ginebra is currently involved in a three-way tie for sixth to eighth spots with Globalport and Alaska at 4-5.
Just within striking distance of them are Barako Bull and expansion team KIA, both carrying 4-6 records and still have a chance of barging into the top eight.
Defending champion Purefoods (8-3), Rain or Shine (7-3), Talk ‘N Text (7-3), Meralco (6-4), and NLEX (6-4), are already assured of at least the top five berths in the playoffs.
Tournament format will have the top two teams at the end of the single-round eliminations earning a twice-to-beat edge against teams seeded in seventh and eighth spots, respectively
The third to sixth seeds will then play in a best-of-three series in the quarterfinals. The last four teams after the eliminations will drop out of the playoffs.
Globalport is also expected to come out strong with new import Derrick Caracter in tow.
Caracter, the wide-bodied former Los Angeles Lakers back-up forward, debuted with 27 points and 14 rebounds in a 94-81 loss to NLEX.
With Caracter having the benefit of practicing longer with the team and the expected return of Fil-Am guard Stanley Pringle from a sprained ankle, Globalport is looking to revive its playoff hopes in the mid-season tournament.
Sophomore guard Terrence Romeo, named MVP in the recent All-Star game in Palawan, is expected to play big again for the Batang Pier as he is averaging career-best of 21.6 points, 4.6 rebounds, and 3.0 assists per contest this conference.