BARANGAY Ginebra and Mahindra seek to continue hitting their strides as they face off on Wednesday when the PBA Commissioner’s goes on the road anew at the Ynares Center in Antipolo.
Both teams have won their last two games, respectively, and one streak is about to end in the 7 p.m.
The Gin Kings showed poise under pressure on Sunday when they overhauled an eight-point deficit heading into the fourth quarter before prevailing against Star, 92-87.
“This team is growing up a little bit,” said Gin Kings coach Tim Cone, whose team has leveled its win-loss record after starting the conference with two losses. “The guys are developing character.”
LA Tenorio and Greg Slaughter typified the Gin Kings’ development as their heroics lifted them against their sister squad.
The Enforcers, on the other hand, have also been making early waves. After finishing second to last in the Philippine Cup, the sophomore side is on the opposite end of the 12-team standings, running second with a 3-1 record behind unbeaten Meralco.
“We’re learning,” said Enforcers coach Chito Victolero, whose team wound on the wrong end of a handful of close battles in the all-Filipino conference. “Yung mga experience namin, nadadala namin this conference.”
The Enforcers backed it up with a 106-99 win over NLEX last Friday when they refused to flinch in the face of the Road Warriors’ late surge.
“Nagma-mature na yung players,” Victolero said. “They know how to close games out. Mas focused, mas agresibo, at mas may gustong patunayan.”
Augustus Gilchrist has been anchoring the Enforcers and the 6-foot-10 import will test the Gin Kings’ twin towers in Slaughter and Japeth Aguilar, who complement undersized, yet hardworking reinforcement Othyus Jeffers.
“Palakas ng palakas na (ang mga kalaban),” Victolero said. “(But) it’s a matter of believing in ourselves.”
San Miguel Beer seeks to also give Antipolo fans a treat as well as the Philippine Cup champions, toting a 1-1 record, take on Blackwater (2-2) in the curtain-raiser.