AIR21 and Globalport, teams that lost on opening day, try to avoid an early crash into the bottom of the standings when they lock horns at the continuation of the PLDT myDSL-PBA Philippine Cup on Saturday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
The Express hope to shake off the stigma of their 75-88 loss at the hands of the Barako Bull Energy Cola on Wednesday.
The Batang Pier, now mentored by rookie interim coach Ritchie Ticzon, are likewise, coming off an 87-97 spanking from the Petron Blaze Boosters.
Gametime is at 3:30 p.m.
Air21 coach Franz Pumaren said his team needs to move on and forget that loss to Barako Bull. The Express failed to give a decent fight in a game that saw them trail by as many as 33 points.
Since the team is expected to miss newly-acquired gunner Mark Cardona, who is out with a sprained MCL (medial collateral ligament) in his left knee, veterans led by 40-year-old Asi Taulava and Joseph Yeo will be taking the cudgels for the Express.
Ticzon recognizes the Express’ eagerness to bounce back from its poor performance in the season-opener.
“Our team has to be very efficient in our transition defense, and we also have to be prepared for their post players and shooters,” said Ticzon, who’ll have one-time PBA MVP Eric Menk and big men Kelly Nabong, Jondan Salvador as well as Jay Washington to man the shaded lane.
But Globalport will try to push the ball at any given opportunity, and there should be no problem getting bursts of speed from three rookie acquisitions in Terrence Romeo, RR Garcia and Nico Salva.
The 5-foot-11 Romeo debuted with 13 points in his first game as a pro against the Boosters.