Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Ginebra feeling urgency, battle rejuvenated Alaska

MANILA, Philippines—Barangay Ginebra hopes to fast-track it’s transition phase and prevent a charging Alaska from exploiting its current situation in the PBA Philippine Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Meralco, meanwhile, tries to inch closer to a sure playoff spot against Barako Bull in the other game.

The Gin King infused fresh fuel into their frontcourt, a move that has to fall into place since they have no recourse but to bounce back in their 5:15 p.m. meeting with the Aces. Another defeat could spell
                                                                             Photo by PBA/Nuki Sabio
doom for the playoff chances of the  Photo by PBA/Nuki Sabioleague’s most popular squad.

Ginebra is coming off a loss to the B-Meg Llamados last Sunday, sliding to seventh at 4-5 despite completing a trade that had forwards Rico Maierhofer and Allein Maliksi beefing up their ammunition.

“I hope we could fast-track the transition phase but it’s going to take some time,” said Ginebra coach Siot Tanquingcen. “It’s a process and we understand that we have to go through that.”

Jayjay Helterbrand was lethal last time around but sputtered in the homestretch along with Mike Cortez, Niño Canaleta and JC Intal as Ginebra allowed the Llamados to finish them off with a 13-1 windup. Ginebra star Mark Caguioa hardly contributed, going 2 of 10 for six points.

“It’s not looking good right now, although we’re hoping to get to the position where we can beat other (stronger) teams,” Tanquingcen added.

The Aces (3-7) are hoping to sustain a revival of sorts following back-to-back victories against sub-.500 squads Clickers (0-11) and the Powerade Tigers (3-7). Going up against another team with yet another losing record may be all the Aces need to boost their playoff hopes.

“For the past five games we’ve been winning on the boards and we’re beginning to capitalize on our size advantage,” said Alaska coach Joel Banal.

Refreshed by a week-long rest, the Bolts need two victories more to assure themselves of a quarterfinal stint and a win at 7:30 tonight over the Energy will solve half of the problem.

The Bolts (6-4), who have been getting a regular lift from Gabby Espinas, Mark Cardona and Sol Mercado, downed the Powerade Tigers, 98-96, while the Energy (5-4) absorbed their fourth loss in nine games against Petron Blaze last week.

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