KIA Motors is confident the seven-day break was enough for Hamady N’Diyae to acclimatize as the Carnival go for a second straight victory when they battle winless and injury-depleted Ginebra on Wednesday in the PBA Governors Cup on Wednesday at the Cuneta Astrodome.
Came up with a decent game in the opener despite struggling in the Manila heat, recording 21 points and six rebounds in the shock win over San Miguel. The Senegal national tea member also had three blocks and helped limit June Mar Fajardo to just 11 points, although he had to go in and out of the game to catch his breath.
Now the Senegalese 7-footer is expected to be in better shape as the Carnival try to dominate the paint against a Ginebra side missing key big men.
Gametime is at 7 p.m.
“Ang mahalaga lang naman eh bumalik yung kundisyon ni Hamady kasi medyo mabilis pa siya mapagod,” said Kia assistant coach Chito Victolero.
The Carnival also hope to draw inspiration from playing coach Manny Pacquiao, who will be at the sidelines.
Fresh from Los Angeles where he underwent surgery on his right shoulder, Pacquiao arrived early Wednesday morning and met with KIA’s coaching staff at Dusit Hotel.
“Malaking bagay at inspirasyon si coach Manny sa team,” said Victolero.
New boy Alex Nuyles and Taiwanese import Jet Chang are also expected to play big role on offense for KIA after scoring 18 and 14 points, respectively against San Miguel.
However, Victolero said it won’t be an easy game even as the Kings miss the services of top frontliners.
Greg Slaughter is still out with a right ankle sprain, while Aguilar is nursing a right hamstring injury. The 6-foot-9 Aguilar joined practice early this week and is a game-time decision.
“Sa last game nila (Gin Kings) against Talk ‘N Text, mas fluid na yung offense nila. Kaya yung babantayan namin against them is yung transition game nila,” he added.
Ginebra import Orlando Johnson has been doing it all for Ginebra, averaging 48 points in the team’s 0-2 start.
Only two local players averaged in double figures, with newly-acquired guard Sol Mercado registering 10.5 points on 33 percent shooting and Mark Caguioa scoring 10.0 points on 39 percent shooting.
Ginebra opened its campaign in the season-ending conference with a 108-99 loss to Alaska, before dropping a 95-91 decision to Talk ‘N Text.