The Barangay Ginebra San Miguel is scheduled for a head-to-head game against the Meralco Bolts at 6:45 P.M. on February 18, 2018 live from the Philippine Arena, Bulacan.
The Gin Kings are seeking for its three-game winning streak and solidify their current spot in the 2017-18 PBA Philippine Cup standings while the Bolts will take all of its remaining chances and make it to the second round.
The rematch of 2017 PBA Governor’s cup is back in the same venue where 54,000 PBA fans witnessed the Gin Kings won the season-ending conference trophy.
However, this time around both Ginebra and Meralco will both be playing without Justin Brownlee (Gin Kings) and Allen Durham (Bolts) on their respective sides.
Both coaches also agree that their ongoing All-Filipino campaigns are not so successful compared to last year’s Governors’ Cup.
“No doubt, it’s been a struggle for both teams since meeting in the finals. But we’re both playing better as of late,” said Ginebra coach Tim Cone.
“It’s another do-or-die game for us so we will go out and fight to stay alive,” said Meralco coach Norman Black.
There’ll be good news for the Barangay Ginebra’s side as the team will welcome the return of their big-man in Joe Devance. Devance was out since the start of the PBA season 43 due to an injury that he kept on nursing last year.
While Meralco still have Ranidel de Ocampo in the injured list and then Jared Dillinger joined him again as he sustained knee injury.
“Cliff (Hodge) will be out with a knee injury so my other bigs will have to step up and battle the huge frontline of Ginebra. Rebounding will be a key,” said Black.
Although short-handed of players capable on making big plays, coach Tim Cone predicts that their opponent will throw them shooters to counter their tall and big line-up.
“They will loot to put five shooters on the floor so our bigs will have to extend out away from the basket. We’ll have to find ways to cover all of them,” said Cone.