MICHAEL Dunigan is bracing for a determined Purefoods side Sunday when Barangay Ginebra meets its perennial rival in the main game of the PBA Commissioner’s Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Dunigan is aware the defending champions will be parading former Best Import Denzel Bowles in the 5 p.m. match, while at the same time, looking to arrest a two-game slide capped by an embarrassing 95-84 upset at the hands of expansion franchise KIA Motors.
Bowles has over to take the place of controversial Daniel Orton, whose disparaging remarks against game officials and KIA Motors playing-coach Manny Pacquiao earned him a P250,000 fine from the Commissioner’s Office and led to his sudden banishment.
The import who guided Purefoods to the 2012 Commissioner’s Cup title arrived in the country Saturday morning and made the 6-9 height limit by 3/16 of an inch.
But Dunigan is unperturbed, saying the Kings are ready against the Hotshots and Bowles, who he expects to be guarded by the team’s array of big men, including new acquisition Dorian Pena.
“An import is an import. We’re just there to compete, though now we have big man Dorian back. We’re at full strength and now and we’ll be ready,” said the 6-foot-8 Ginebra import.
Dunigan said Ginebra also has issues that need to be addressed especially after the Kings suffered a heartbreaking 104-103 loss to Talk ‘N Text last week in a game where they blew a 17-point third quarter lead.
“It’s been an okay week, very productive on some parts, but still mad about the loss the last game because we had control of (the game against Talk ‘N Text) most of the way, but we let it get away,” Dunigan told Spin.ph after the team concluded its Saturday practice at the Gatorade Hoops Center.
Dunigan who played his best game in a Ginebra uniform against Talk ‘N Text with 30 points and 18 rebounds, felt the Kings were lackadaisical in the second half, allowing the Tropang Texters to complete their fightback in the process.
And he noted, the Kings can’t do that against the reigning champions.
“We just have to continue to play for four quarters. Of course, they (Hotshots) are a very good defensive team and based on stats, they have been holding their opponents at 79 points per game,” explained the 25-year-old former standout of the University of Oregon.