BARANGAY Ginebra hopes to ensure its entry to the next round of the PBA Governors’ Cup when it takes on Barako Bull on Friday night at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
The Kings are in a four-way logjam at fourth place with Powerade, defending champion Petron,and Meralco at 4-4, and a win over the Energy in their 5:15 encounter would give them a share of third place.
The race is so tight that by the end of the elimination round, possibility looms that six teams might end up tied at 5-4, with one of those squads getting eliminated.
So now the Kings hope to get out of that gridlock.
“We just have to keep it simple…play hard and win to avoid any complications,” Kings coach Siot Tanquingcen said on Thursday.
The Kings are coming off a heartbreaking 115-113 loss to Talk ‘N Text last Sunday.
Down by 13 midway through the fourth quarter, the never-say-die Kings went on an 18-6 run, capped by a Cedric Bozeman hook, to close the gap to just a point, 109-108, with less than a minute remaining before the Texters held on behind the heroics of Jayson Castro.
Ironically, it was also the Texters who dealt the Energy their latest setback, 109-89, that caused them to fall at 3-4 overall.
The Kings are hoping to get the same type of production from Bozeman and Mark Caguioa, who exploded for 32 points apiece against the Texters, and for the rest of the crew to step up.
For Barako to have a chance against Ginebra, Willie Miller, Leroy Hickerson, and Danny Seigle need to score the way they did against the Texters when they combined for 63 points.
In the second game at 7:30 p.m., Petron Blaze also tries to give its campaign a major boost by eyeing a win over also-ran Air21.
The Boosters are coming off an 82-103 defeat at the hands of Rain or Shine last Saturday in Dumaguete.
Although favored against the lowly Express, the Boosters still remain warry about their upset-conscious opponent,which just a week ago stunned the Powerade Tigers, 128-121.
Petron will be led by Eddie Basden, Arwind Santos, and rookie Chris Lutz, while the Express will lean on the explosive Zachary Graham and Ren Ren Ritualo.