BARANGAY Ginebra shoots for a 2-0 lead in the PBA Philippine Cup semifinals when it collides with Meralco on Friday afternoon at the Angeles University Foundation Sports Arena and Cultural Center.
The Kings are looking to take the commanding advantage in the best-of-five series in the 3:45 p.m. encounter.
Ginebra was dominant in Game One with its 96-79 victory over Meralco on Wednesday night. But head coach Tim Cone warned that the Bolts are capable of coming back from that lopsided loss.
Cone also cited fatigue was a factor in Meralco's fall, pointing out that the Bolts were coming off a grueling quarterfinal series where they had to overcome a twice-to-beat disadvantage against San Miguel.
With Meralco suffering its first defeat in the playoffs, Cone knows that the Bolts will regroup and it is now their job to stave off that challenge in Game Two.
“Meralco is a team on a mission. We interrupted that for one day but hopefully, we continue to interrupt it,” said Cone.
One major concern for Ginebra heading into Game Two is the offensive production of Allein Maliksi, who had 24 pointson 5-of-6 shooting from threes but got little support from his teammates in the series opener.
Cone was glad that they were able to contain the other mainstays of Meralco such as Chris Newsome, Reynel Hugnatan, and Baser Amer, but he is expecting that they will bounce back from the Game One setback.
“If he continues to shoot like that the whole series, it's going to be a tough series,” said Cone.
Stanley Pringle carried Ginebra in the victory over Meralco, finishing with 19 points, seven rebounds, and two steals. Scottie Thompson had a near triple-double with 13 points, nine rebounds, and eight assists.