BARANGAY Ginebra and Meralco try to set aside the recent history between them and just focus on what’s at stake as they face off on Saturday in a PBA Philippine Cup road game at the University of San Agustin gym in Iloilo.
Facing each other for the first time since the Governors’ Cup Finals, the Gin Kings and Bolts only have tunnel vision on getting back on the winning track in the 5 p.m. encounter in the Petron Saturday Special.
“It’s a grudge match, certainly, but since both of us are struggling, either of us would just take the win,” Gin Kings coach Tim Cone said on Friday.
Coming off a 72-70 loss to San Miguel Beer, the Gin Kings are running eighth in a tie with Star with a 3-4 win-loss card and a win will solidify their place in the playoff circle.
The Bolts, on the other hand, need a victory more than the Gin Kings in order to put an end to a five-game tailspin that will jack up their tally to 3-6 and move them out of the bottom.
“There’s a reality, however, that for us, the playoffs have already started,” Cone said. “Every game from here on out is crucial for us and we need to bring a playoff mentality to each one.”
“My feeling is Meralco is feeling the same way, so this game should have a playoff atmosphere,” he added ahead of the playdate in Iloilo, where the league is playing for the first time in four years and just the second time in 12 years.
More than seeking a measure of revenge for their finals loss to the Gin Kings in the season-ending tournament, the Bolts are just eager to recover from a stunning 105-92 loss to Mahindra.