BARANGAY Ginebra hopes fit-again big man Kerby Raymundo can provide the spark and veteran presence the Kings need as they fight for a quarterfinal seat in the PBA Governors' Cup.
The 6-foot-5 Raymundo missed the team’s first six games of the conference due to a bone contusion on his left knee. But he has already started practicing with the Kings last Tuesday and is raring to go when the league’s most popular ballclub (2-4) takes on Rain or Shine (4-3) at 6 p.m. on Saturday at Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
LA Tenorio said the comebacking Raymundo will definitely help the team as it bids for a late resurgence in the short elimination phase.
“Kulang na kulang kami sa four position kaya malaking tulong siya with our import. Alam naman kasi natin ano ang maibibigay ni Kerby sa team dahil veteran na siya,” added the Ginebra sentinel, whose team will still miss the services of 6-foot-9 center Japeth Aguilar due to a sprained MCL on his right knee.
At the same time, Tenorio said the encounter with the Elasto Painters is a now-or-never game that could well determine the fate of the Kings.
“I’m still hoping na malagpasan na namin itong struggles namin,” said the Ginebra guard, who currently leads the statistical race for the Best Player of the Conference award.
“Kailangan ko lang gawin `yung kailangan kong gawin sa paglalaro ko.”
On the other hand, the Elasto Painters will be looking to follow up its huge 120-93 shellacking of Barako Bull on Tuesday with another important victory that could assure the Asian Coatings franchise a quarterfinal seat.
But coach Yeng Guiao doesn’t expect an easy win, aware that Ginebra will try to bring its A-game to remain in the hunt for a playoff berth.
“Alam naming mabigat pa 'yung parating so it’s really going to be a struggle for us, but I think this (game versus Ginebra) will be a big game since some of the teams are gonna be bunched up (in the standings),” Guiao said.
Paul Lee is expected to return to action against the Kings after missing the Barako Bull game due to a hurting elbow.