TRYING to avoid relegation to the lower seedings of the PBA Commissioner’s Cup quarterfinal playoffs, Barangay Ginebra goes for an all-important victory against Talk `N Text Sunday at the Mall of Asia Arena.
The Kings fell to 7-6 after their six-game winning streak came to a halt against Alaska the last time, and now need to win their final outing in the eliminations in order not to fall as low as No. 7 in the playoffs.
But they have to do it against a Tropang Texters side that will be parading a new import in Jerome Jordan in the 6:30 p.m. main game.
Jordan, a seven-foot center who played for Tulsa for four years, is fresh from a stint with the NBA D-League’s Los Angeles D-Fenders. He was called in to replace Donnell Harvey, who hurriedly left for the US last week to attend to his family which got involved in a freak road accident.
But Harvey left the country on a winning note, steering Talk `N Text to a 94-84 whipping of Globalport for an even 6-6 card.
“(It’s going to be a big game) for us versus Ginebra. It will be very important for us to match their energy especially on the defensive end of the court,” said Talk `N Text coach Norman Black.
“(Vernon) Macklin and LA (Tenorio) will be major concerns, but we also can’t underestimate the others. For us, we just hope that Jerome Jordan blends with the team as quickly as possible.”
Although the Kings lost to the Aces, 93-102, they still believe they have momentum on their side even if the team will continue to miss the services of injured players Mark Caguioa and Billy Mamaril.
Kerby Raymundo is again expected to play extended minutes the way he did in the loss against Alaska in the absence of Mamaril.
“Lagi naman akong handa, lalo na wala si Billy. Sa team kailangan naming manalo para rin maiwasan naming malaglag pa sa No. 7,” said Raymundo, who’s averaging 6.0 points and 4.3 rebounds, both career-lows.
Ginebra won its initial encounter against Talk `N Text, 107-100, behind the heroics of Caguioa, Macklin, and Tenorio, who combined for 72 points.