ON a downward spin in its last four games, another bad news is coming Barangay Ginebra’s way on Sunday.
The Kings collide with streaking San Mig Coffee Mixers in one of the featured game in a rare PBA Philippine Cup triple-game bill at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Averaging 104 points in the team’s first two games of the season, the Kings inexplicably went on a huge offensive meltdown and normed just 83.5 points in their next four games despite having big-time scorers in reigning MVP Mark Caguioa, Kerby Raymundo, LA Tenorio, rookie Chris Ellis, and Mike Cortez.
The 2-4 Kings hope to nail a confidence-building win against the 4-2 Mixers in a 7:30 p.m. match-up that is expected to draw a capacity crowd at the Big Dome.
Tenorio admitted the Kings are not doing a good job on the defensive end, while still having problems with team chemistry.
“Unang-una talaga focus namin ngayon `yung team defense. Marami sa amin mga bago sa team, naga-adjust pa talaga, especially ilan sa aming mga bago, naglalaro ng major minutes,” Tenorio told Spin.ph.
Tenorio said practice has been good for the past days, and he expects the Kings to be a lot more aggressive against the taller Mixers, who have won their last two outings to force a three-way logjam for third place in the team standings with Meralco and Rain or Shine.
“Very hands-on talaga ang coaching staff sa amin sa defense. We just have to win one, then hopefully, mag-sunud-sunod na ito dahil tataas ang kumpiyansa ng team,” added the 5-foot-8 playmaker, who was acquired by Ginebra from Alaska during the offseason.
In the 3 p.m. first game, struggling squads Barako Bull (2-5) and Globalport (1-6) try to get back on the winning track, while Meralco (4-2) and Rain or Shine tangle (4-2) clash at 5:15 p.m. in the hope of catching up with idle Alaska in second place.
Globalport coach Glen Capacio said he’s happy with how the Batang Pier had been playing lately, notwithstanding the fact that they have always fallen short in the endgame.
“Positive pa rin. Alam niyo naman, we have three rookies. We’re playing against the big boys na ng PBA. And we’ve been playing together for just two months,” said Capacio.
“We’re playing against other teams who have been together for the last five years. Pero may patutunguhan itong team. Di lang siguro sa ngayon,” he added.
Barako Bull, another team in search of the winning formula, had lost its last three outings against defending champion Talk `N Text, Meralco, and that controversial setback against San Mig Coffee.
The Barako Bull-Globalport showdown marks the first time veteran guard Willie Miller will be facing his former team this season.
“Nabawasan sila (Energy Cola) ng isang makulit,” said Miller in jest, obviously referring to his offseason trade to the league newcomers.
On a more serious note, Miller said the Batang Pier will really have to work hard off the boards as the Energy Cola possess one of strongest frontlines in the league with Enrico Villanueva, Doug Kramer, and Mick Pennisi.
“Hopefully, maka-isa kami na makakatulong sa kumpiyansa ng team,” said Miller, who currently leads the league in scoring with a 21 points per game average.