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    Ginebra continues grueling schedule, eyes share of lead as Kings battle skidding Phoenix

    Aug 29, 2017
    Coach Tim Cone's Gin Kings play the second of a five-game two-weeks schedule. Jaime Campos

    BARANGAY Ginebra continues a grueling schedule as it tangles with Phoenix on Wednesday night in the PBA Governors’ Cup at the Mall of Asia Arena.

    Coming off a 94-80 win over luckless Alaska last Saturday in Cebu after a three-week layoff, the defending champion Gin Kings seek to stretch their four-game winning streak as they take on another skidding side in the Fuel Masters at 7 p.m.

    “We want to keep our momentum going, so it’s a big game for us,” Gin Kings coach Tim Cone said on the eve of the matchup where they aim to hike their win-loss record to 5-1 that will give them a piece of the lead with Meralco.

    “Including our Cebu game, we basically have five games in two weeks, so this is an important stretch for us,” he added as the Gin Kings collide with in a rivalry game on Sunday, test the mettle of emergent Blackwater on Friday, before squaring off against grand slam-seeking San Miguel on Sunday.

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    [See Ginebra adds to Alaska frustrations, spoils Dondon Hontiveros tribute with wire-to-wire win in Cebu]

    Playing their first game in the metro after two straight out-of-town games in Cebu and Pangasinan, the Gin Kings face a Fuel Masters side starving for a win. Phoenix has lost six consecutive games, including two with new acquisition Jeff Chan.

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    The Fuel Masters, though, are undefeated against Ginebra this season, scoring a 79-73 win in the Philippine Cup, before going for an encore in the Commissioner’s Cup with a 94-91 decision in their eliminations matchup in Davao.

    “We’ve had little success with Phoenix over the last couple of conferences,” Cone said. “And they’ve done a great job of improving their talent through the year with key trades. Despite their record, they seem to be a team on the rise.”

    Expect Justin Brownlee to keep stuffing the stats sheet for the Gin Kings as he matches up with the Fuel Masters’ stand-in import, Brandon Brown.

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    Blackwater also tries to sustain its hot streak of three wins after starting the conference with three losses as it takes on a tough test in TNT KaTropa (3-2) in the first game at 4:15 p.m.

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    Coach Tim Cone's Gin Kings play the second of a five-game two-weeks schedule. Jaime Campos
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