The Barangay Ginebra San Miguel is scheduled for a head-to-head game against the Phoenix Petroleum Fuel Masters at 7:00 P.M. on January 26, 2018 live from the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Both the Gin Kings and the Fuel Masters are in a two-game losing skid. Likewise, these two ball-clubs wanting to avoid another loss and got buried deeper in the 2017-18 PBA Philippine Cup standings.
Barangay Ginebra absorbs its second straight defeat this All-Filipino conference last Sunday after they got lambasted by Alaska Aces. Apart from losing in the battle inside the paint one of the areas that made Alaska successful was their pressure defense.
For those who already forgot, the person who introduced that defensive strategy to Alaska was coach Louie Alas and he is now the head bench tactician of the Phoenix Fuel Masters.
“We didn’t handle Alaska’s pressure well so obviously we’ll have to do a much better job against the same kind of pressure that (Phoenix Petroleum) coach Louie (Alas) applies,” said Cone. “We’re hoping we can learn from our mistakes and put a better game together,” he added.
Greg Slaughter will be a game-time decision whether he can play longer minutes or can even play at all in their 7:00 PM schedule.
“He didn’t practice today, but he’ll suit up tomorrow, and he’ll warm up,” Cone said after practice on Thursday. “Not a very good (chance), but there’s a chance (he’ll play). If he’s not feeling pain, we’ll give him a few minutes.”
Slaughter is currently nursing a hamstring injury and just in case coach Tim Cone decided to sideline the man who is also known as the “GregZilla” then other players should take care of the slack.
“We’ve been hit hard by the injury bug so far this conference, but the other teams are not going to give us a break because of that, of course,” said Cone. “We just have to keep fighting through it and keep looking for that next man up.”
Although his team below .500 winning percentage, coach Louie Alas found bright spots in their game especially at the defensive end.
“Medyo frustrated ako sa endgame namin last time but I saw positive things defensively compared to our first four games,” said Alas.
Alas is expecting that Ginebra will bounce hard after losing two straight and the veteran coach already made his scouting assignment.
“We need to improve our individual handling especially on the weak side. They send several cutters from the weak side, and we need to box out well,” said Alas.