MANILA – League-leading Barangay Ginebra Kings will try to lock up the top spot in the PBA Philippine Cup when they face off against the GlobalPort Batang Pier Friday night at the SMART Araneta Coliseum.
At 10-2, Ginebra is at the top of the league standings and can seal their position as the No. 1 team at the end of the eliminations with a win against the Batang Pier, who tote a 5-8 record.
Ginebra actually has another chance to clinch the No. 1 seed when it wraps up its elimination round campaign on Sunday against Talk ‘N Text, but head coach Ato Agustin wants to get the job done on Friday.
“Hindi kami pwedeng mag-relax bukas at tumingin na lang sa Talk ‘N Text game,” he said. “Kailangan laban lagi para makakuha ng momentum for the next round.”
Ginebra defeated GlobalPort in their first showdown of the season, 109-104, in a game that featured a duel between Mark Caguiao and Batang Pier rookie Terrence Romeo.
Caguiao finished with 29 points, including 14 of Ginebra’s last 18, but Romeo also made a good account of himself as the former UAAP Most Valuable Player scored 27 markers.
“In most of our games, we were able to compete but we become inconsistent in the latter part of the game,” GlobalPort head coach Ritchie Ticzon said. “Whether it is in the third quarter or the end game, we falter.”
Caguioa will be a marked man in tomorrow’s match-up as Ticzon singled him out as the primary reason for GlobalPort’s loss.
The Batang Pier will still be without star forward Jay Washington, who is out for the rest of the tournament due to a partial muscle tear on his foot.
Game time is at 5:45 p.m.