BARANGAY Ginebra and Powerade hope to formalize their entry to the PBA Governors Cup semifinals as they take on separate opponents Sunday at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
The Kings (4-3) clash with the streaking Talk `N Text Tropang Texters in the main game of another doubleheader that will have the Tigers facing the Meralco Bolts in the opener.
Ginebra finds itself knocking at the semis door after completing a 90-81 come-from-behind decision of the Alaska Aces Friday in a game that saw the league’s most popular team storm back from a huge 17-point lead.
The Kings have so far been playing inconsistent in the season-ending conference, but will try to get on a streak against the Tropang Texters in their 6:30 p.m. encounter.
“It’s been a roller-coaster ride,” admitted Ginebra coach Siot Tanquingcen. “The more we think of it, the more we get in trouble. We just have to let the chips fall where they may.”
But a second straight victory will definitely not come on a silver platter for the Kings as they will be up against a Tropang Texters’ side that is starting to peak.
The Tropang Texters have won their last two games to even their card at 3-3. They are coming off a 109-89 triumph over Barako Bull behind the 24-point, 23-minute effort off the bench by prolific guard Jayson Castro.
“Talk N Text is back to its form,” Tanquingcen pointed out. “We have to play hard, do our stuff, not worry about what they’re doing, and just play Ginebra basketball.”
Mark Caguioa, who had 22 points against the Aces, is again expected to lead the Kings’ offense along with import Cedric Bozeman, and rookie Dylan Ababou.
Meanwhile, Powerade’s semifinal bid was momentarily derailed after the Tigers were upset by Air21, 128-121, behind Zachary Graham’s 51-point explosion also last Friday.
But the Tigers (4-3), hope to get over the hump in their 4:15 p.m. match with the Bolts.
Like Powerade, Meralco (3-4) is still in the hunt for a semifinals berth, especially after beating Air21 in a 106-77 blowout Wednesday.
Powerade pins its hopes on import Omar Sneed, who had another spectacular game against the Express with 40 points and 21 rebounds, and locals Gary David, Jayvee Casio, and Rabeh Al-Hussaini.
The Bolts, on the other hand, have Mario West, Mac Mac Cardona, and Sol Mercado to lean on.