Ginebra, Meralco renew rivalry

Games today:
(Smart Araneta Coliseum)
4:30 p.m. – Rain or Shine vs Terrafirma
6:45 p.m. – Meralco vs Ginebra

Barangay Ginebra and Meralco rekindle their storied rivalry tonight as action heats up in the Philippine Basketball Association Commissioner’s Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

The two squads take center stage at 6:45 p.m. right after the Rain or Shine vs Terrafirma curtainraiser at 4:30 p.m.

After losing to the Gin Kings in all their past four championship encounters in the Governors’ Cup, the Bolts finally got back at the crowd-darlings in the playoff series of last conference, eliminating them in the quarterfinal round.

Now that Meralco has succeeded in exacting payback, the Bolts are coming into the day’s featured matchup oozing with confidence even against the star-studded unit of Tim Cone.

Curiously, both teams are coming off separate losses, making Sunday’s encounter a must-win game.

The Bolts lost a heartbreaker against the NorthPort Batang Pier in overtime, 101-95 as Meralco simply couldn’t find ways to stop Robert Bolick, who torched coach Norman Black and his troops with 44 points.

Against the Gin Kings, the Bolts will face a team that has grown stronger with the acquisition of Jamie Malonzo and Von Pessumal.

Although Ginebra came out flat in its first game and received a sound beating from Rain or Shine, 93-71, the league’s favorite team remains a livewire foe.

Shamed by the beating it absorbed from the Elasto Painters the last time, the Gin Kings are hoping to showcase their patented never-say-die attitude and killer’s instinct.

Though Scottie Thompson was held only to a point in 28 minutes of play, he still managed to haul 10 boards as he continues to find his form owing to a calf injury,

Even LA Tenorio was an eyesore the last time the Gin Kings played as the veteran guard hit only one of seven shots from the field and wound up with just two points.

Import Justin Brownlee was also not yet in his usual fiery self, firing 20 points on 7-of-25 shooting but grabbed 16 rebounds and five feeds.

Justin Brownlee had a quiet production himself, finishing with 20 points on 7-of-25 shooting, but pulled down 16 rebounds and dished out five assists.

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