The Barangay Ginebra San Miguel is scheduled for a Game 1 Semi-Finals game against the Star Hotshots at 7:00 P.M. on February 9, 2017 in Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Joe Devance sat out when Ginebra played another knockout game against Alaska last Tuesday due to injury he suffered in their first meeting.
To make the situation worse for the Barangay, Sol Mercado and Japeth Aguilar was in foul trouble early in the ball-game. Mercado already got four personal fouls in the first half while Japeth committed his fourth just at the start of the third quarter.
That scenario looks like Alaska will be cruising and will go to the semi-finals round and meet Star Hotshots.
However, utilzing the deep lineup of Barangay Ginebra with the aid of the brillant minds of Coach Tim Cone, the “Never-Say-Die” team found its group of heroes from its bench in the names of Ferrer, Marcelo and Mariano.
These three youngsters combined with 42 points and 21 boards but the most important thing they were able to defend the paint and stopped Vic Manuel in doing his damage in the absence of Devance and Aguilar.
Tonight’s game will be another Manila Clasico, the match-up between Star Hotshots and Barangay Ginebra. Two different teams having different style of play but they have one thing in common and that is Coach Tim Cone.
Cone led San Mig Coffee Mixers (now Star Hotshots) to a Grand Slam back in 2014 and now guiding Ginebra to a back-to-back championship. They already won one last 2016 PBA Governor’s Cup.
Last February 6, the mastery of the Hotshots against Fuel Masters prevails as they dispatched Phoenix with another huge lead, the final score was 91-71.
The last time Star and Ginebra clashed was on 2016 Christmas Day and they’re the featured match.
Ginebra took home the goodies by winning the game, 86-79. Japeth Aguilar was named Player of the Game with his 32 points and 12 rebounds performance.
Paul Lee who was still at the adjustment period playing in his new team at that time led Star with 20 points.