BARANGAY Ginebra eyes a quick turnaround from a loss while NLEX rides the momentum of an escape act as they square off in the PBA Philippine Cup Wednesday at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.
The Road Warriors banked on a clutch basket by Don Trollano with 2.2 seconds to go to lift the Road Warriors past the TNT Tropang Giga, 90-89, in a thriller on June 16.
Meanwhile, on Sunday, the Gin Kings suffered their first defeat since their title run in the last Governors Cup, reeling down to an 89-84 loss to the Magnolia Chicken Timplados Hotshots.
Ginebra's swamping by Magnolia sent the Gin Kings to a four-way logjam at second place with the Road Warriors, the Meralco Bolts and the Blackwater Elite with their identical 2-1 win-loss records.
Thus, solo second behind San Miguel Beer (3-0) is at stake as Ginebra and NLEX slug it out in the 6 p.m. Wednesday mainer, succeeding the 3 p.m. tussle between Converge and Terrafirma.
The Kings are looking for a quick rebound after they sputtered and suffered a fourth straight loss in their Manila Clasico showdowns with the Hotshots.
It was a sudden slide for the Kings after winning their first two outings versus the Blackwater Bossing (85-82) and the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters. It was back-to-back assignments in a return from their hiatus after beating the Meralco Bolts for the Governors' Cup crown.
The slide was marked by a combined 0-of-12 shooting from beyond the arc by gunners Stanley Pringle, Scottie Thompson and Jeff Chan, and the Hotshots pulled through even minus the injury-hit Paul Lee and Calvin Abueva taking an early exit on two technical fouls.
While the Kings fell to an upset, the Road Warriors defied the odds in their one-point nail-biter over the Tropang Giga.
Getting the ball back after making the inbound, Trollano wiggled into the paint and fired a short jumper to complete the Road Warriors' fightback from as many as 12 points and a bounceback from a 100-92 loss to the San Miguel Beermen in their previous outing.
"We'll-scouted kami. Alam na alam ni coach Jolas ang system namin inside out so in our practices, we tried to do some things differently," said Guiao as they spoiled Jojo Lastimosa's debut as team manager for the Tropang Giga.
Now comes another tough assignment in Barangay Ginebra.
The Kings, however, are themselves wary of the Batang Pier. (SB)