June 05, 2017

Ginebra tries to put away GlobalPort sooner than later

Barangay Ginebra’s shocking loss to GlobalPort in their 2015-16 PBA Philippine Cup quarterfinals matchup is still fresh in mind of most of the PBA followers.

It still rankles at the heart of the Ginebra diehards.

The Gin Kings can finally slay the ghost of this memory as they face the Batang Pier in a quarters rematch in the 2017 Commissioner’s Cup.

The top seeded Ginebra side takes its first crack at disposing of GlobalPort at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Even with their twice-to-beat advantage as the elims top notchers, the Kings are taking on the Batang Pier with a lot of caution.

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“GlobalPort has the ability to make tough shots at big moments and that makes them incredibly dangerous down the stretch of games,” said Ginebra coach Tim Cone.

“Justin Harper’s ability to shoot and spread the floor for (Stanley) Pringle and (Terrence) Romeo causes problems for defenses. No doubt, we’re in for a battle,” Cone added.

The Kings won’t commit the same mistake of taking GlobalPort for granted that proved to be their downfall in their quarters duel in the 2016 all-Filipino tourney.

The Batang Pier escaped with an 84-83 win in overtime then for their breakthrough semifinal appearance.

GlobalPort coach Franz Pumaren admits repeating that feat against Ginebra is a herculean task.

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“It’s gonna be tough. Hopefully, we’ll be able to sustain the momentum that we have,” said Pumaren.

Ginebra, however, will have a handful to deal with if Harper, Romeo and Pringle get their teammates to get going with them.

The Ginebra-GlobalPort setto features exciting matchups in the backcourt pitting Romeo and LA Tenorio and Pringle opposite either Sol Mercado or Scottie Thompson.
Harper is likely to take on Japeth Aguilar.

The question is who can handle and neutralize Ginebra import Justin Brownlee.