BARANGAY Ginebra and Converge look to stamp their class against lower-seeded opponents at the start of the PBA Commissioner’s Cup quarterfinals at the Philsports Arena on Wednesday.
The Gin Kings start their best-of-three tussle against NorthPort at 5:45 p.m. right after the FiberXers and San Miguel clash at 3 p.m. in their own series.
Ginebra and Converge secured the third and fourth seeds respectively, after the Kings finished with a 9-3 win-loss record, and the FiberXers not far behind with an 8-4 slate.
Despite being the higher-ranked teams, Ginebra and Converge are not taking their opponents lightly in a short series that could go either way.
“They are a talented team,” Ginebra coach Tim Cone said of the NorthPort squad that took sixth spot with a 6-6 win-loss slate. “They are a tough match-up particularly for us because we like to play big and they like to play small and quick.”
Converge coach Aldin Ayo is also very wary of the fifth-seeded Beermen, who have the ability to flip the switch once playoff time comes.
San Miguel, which ended the eliminations with a 7-5 record, is back at full strength with June Mar Fajardo and Terrence Romeo's return from injuries. Assistant coach Jorge Gallent has also coached SMB to wins in its last four games in lieu of Leo Austria, who hasn't returned since being placed under the league's health protocols.
“Kilala naman natin ang San Miguel, habang tumatagal, tumitigas especially kapag playoffs, naglalaro ang San Miguel ng maayos,” said Ayo.
Nards Pinto is not expected to play for Ginebra on Wednesday after suffering a Grade Two sprain in the match against Converge last November 30.
Maverick Ahanmisi, on the other hand, will return for Game One, according to Ayo, after missing the Ginebra game due to an injury.