Titanic showdown against SMB the first acid test for in-form Ginebra, says Tim Cone
Playing against San Miguel has always been an acid test for Tim Cone ever since he started coaching in the PBA. Jaime Campos

STREAKING Barangay Ginebra is currently one of the hottest teams in the PBA Governors Cup.

But how primed the Kings really are for a tiitle run will be known Sunday when no less than the defending champion San Miguel Beermen test their mettle in an expected intense showdown at the Mall of Asia Arena.

The Kings have won their last three outings, including a 107-95 beating of Blackwater in their latest game that propelled them to a share of second spot with idle Mahindra Enforcer at 4-1.

Coach Tim Cone however, believes it’s Ginebra’s game against San Miguel which serves as the barometer of how big a contender the Kings really are for the season-ending championship.

“As long as I’ve been a coach in the PBA, playing SMB has always been the acid test,” said the multi-titled mentor. “It’s no different for us now.”

“They have so many weapons to account for now, so it’s hard to just focus on (AZ) Reid or (June Mar) Fajardo).”

The Beermen actually unveil another of their weapon in former MVP Arwind Santos in their 6:45 p.m. encounter with the Kings. The veteran forward is suiting up for the team for the first time this conference after undergoing arthroscopic surgery on his knee during the season break.

[See Fit-again Arwind Santos back in time for Ginebra game]

“Hindi pa naman totally 100 percent recovered, pero alam mo naman sa sarili mo kung kaya mo ng lumaro,” said the San Miguel star.

The activation of Santos from the injury list is expected to further give boost to the campaign of the Beermen, currently in third place at 3-1 and just behind Ginebra and Mahindra.

“For us to take them, we know we’ll need to move our game to a higher level,” stressed Cone.


The first game of the day’s doubleheader will have the Meralco Bolts (3-2) taking on Globalport, the only team yet to break into the win column at 0-4.

Follow the writer on Twitter: @gerardmos