UNLESS there is a sudden change of heart by Barangay Ginebra, don’t expect Japeth Aguilar and even Scottie Thompson to play in the Gin Kings' most crucial match in the 2021 PBA Philippine Cup.
Coach Tim Cone said Aguilar and Thompson will still be on the sidelines for Saturday’s contest against Phoenix Super LPG where the eighth and final seat in the quarterfinals are at stake.
“Our injuries are status quo,” said Cone on Friday.
In their absence, the Gin Kings are on a two-game losing slide and a 79-66 loss to Meralco on Thursday left them tied with two teams on 4-7 win-loss slates.
Thanks to a NorthPort victory over Alaska on Thursday, the Gin Kings found themselves still with a shot at the No. 8 seed in a knockout match against Phoenix Super LPG.
Despite the challenges, Cone said the Gin Kings are motivated to make the most of the second chance.
“We have been given an unexpected reprieve, so we want to do our best and take advantage of it. The guys know the road is tough, and has been tough, but it starts with one step. That step starts tomorrow with our game against Phoenix,” said Cone.
The Fuel Masters also look to take advantage of the opportunity to break into the quarterfinals and arrange a date with top-seed TNT.
Phoenix though also has its own health issues following news that Vic Manuel will also miss the game due to a groin injury.
For Phoenix to advance, the Fuel Masters hope to avoid a repeat of their 94-87 loss to Ginebra in a September 15 game where they let a 19-point lead slip away.
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