PETRON’s first encounter with co-leader Ginebra in the PLDT myDSL-Philippine Cup on Wednesday presents an interesting matchup between two of the biggest players in the league, but Boosters coach Gee Abanilla stressed that that is not all there is to it.
“That’s (game) gonna be exciting. It’s gonna be a good match-up between us and Ginebra because you’ve got the two tallest guys matching up in the PBA,” he said about the much-anticipated Greg Slaughter-Junemar Fajardo duel.
But Abanilla noted that Boosters were outrebounded by the smaller E-Painters, 66-61, in a 95-99 loss and Petron also gave 22 second-chance points to Rain or Shine - something which he said they cannot allow against a taller and more athletic frontline of Ginebra.
Abanilla is hoping to get better numbers from backup big men Doug Kramer and even Yousef Taha, who returned from a five-game absence due to an MCL sprain on Saturday, so the Boosters can better match up against Ginebra 'Twin Towers' Slaughter and Japeth Aguilar.
“We just have to work on certain things again, make ourselves better and it’s just a process. At least right now, we got to be on guard, we have to be playing our best to beat other teams like Ginebra,” noted the former La Salle head coach.
Fajardo has recorded career-best numbers of 15.5 points, 17.2 rebounds and 3.0 blocks this season, which Abanilla said is a result of the 6’10” big man’s hard work.
“He’s (Fajardo) really consistent and I’m really happy about it. Even his free throws maganda, kasi siyempre, pini-physical siya eh but he’ll be learning that later on,” Abanilla told Spin.ph of his prized center out of the University of Cebu.
The Gin Kings have won their last four games, the most recent a 96-89 victory over the Alaska Aces for their seventh win in eight starts.
Aguilar is averaging career-numbers of 19.7 points, 9.1 rebounds and a league-best 4.0 blocks per contest this season, while the 6’11” rookie Slaughter averages 15.0 points, 10.6 rebounds and 2.0 blocks per game.