Apr 13, 2024

Batang Pier, King slug it out for win No. 5

NORTHPORT and Barangay Ginebra fight for their current spots in the Top 4 as they face off in a crucial Sunday tiff in the PBA Philippine Cup at the Ninoy Aquino Stadium.

The Batang Pier and the Gin Kings collide at 6:15 p.m., both gunning for win No. 5 to stay right behind frontrunner San Miguel Beer (5-0) and second-running NLEX (5-1) with an outside chance at a twice-to-beat incentive in the quarterfinals.

Going to the match, NorthPort is at 4-2 as the Batang Pier were on a romp until their slip against the Magnolia Hotshots (104-97) Wednesday.

Ginebra is half-game behind at 4-3, back on track after arresting a two-game skid with a 105-86 rout of the Blackwater Bossing on Friday.

The Kings hope to build on that win and steady the ship towards a quarterfinals entry and possibly a shot at the win-once incentive.

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"Tonight was a good jump-off point for us," said Ginebra coach Tim Cone hopeful of something good and positive in their last four games in the elims.

"It's been a tough week after coming off two losses and losing three of our last four (games). None of us was feeling good about that. But I felt the guys put their whatever anger, whatever they had, their energy into the game," added Cone shortly after their 19-point blasting of the Bossing.

Certainly a big help was the return of Scottie Thompson.

Then there's Christian Standhardinger stepping up after their back-to-back defeats to San Miguel Beer and Terrafirma.

The 6-foot-8 Fil-German had a 33-point sizzler marked by 12-of-17 shooting from the field and 9-of-11 from the stripe.

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The Batang Pier, meanwhile, are motivated to bounce back from their loss to the Hotshots. (SB)