After suffering heartbreaking losses in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup for 2022–23, Barangay Ginebra and Meralco hope to bounce again.
At 6:45 p.m., the Gin Kings and the Bolts face off. Their first meeting since their fight in the Philippine Cup quarterfinals took place on Sunday at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
However, both teams had underwhelming debuts in the new conference. Meralco blew a 20-point lead to lose to NorthPort in overtime, 101-95, on Friday, while Ginebra suffered a 93-71 defeat to Rain or Shine last Wednesday.
Tim Cone, the coach of Barangay Ginebra, believes that his team will be able to overcome their difficulties in the opening frame. He undoubtedly wishes it would happen as quickly as possible.
“It’s not panic time obviously,” Cone said. “It’s just our first game. We truly believe we will be there in the end. If you judge us in our first game, we are obviously a bad team. You are only as good as your last game. Our last game was really bad right now. We are a bad team. We have to own that. We have to understand that and turn it around.”
Coach Norman Black of Meralco is worried about Chris Newsome, who injured his calf against NorthPort. At the time of writing, his condition was still unknown, and Black questioned how the team would react if Newsome were to miss the game.
“I’m concerned with my team and with the injury of New and how we are going to make adjustments just in case he can’t play,” Black said.
At 4:30 p.m., Rain or Shine faces Terrafirma, a team that is having trouble winning, in the first game.
The Elasto Painters defeated Ginebra by 22 points to give Yeng Guiao, who is now back as coach, his first victory.
Guiao expects that the Ginebra victory will motivate the players to advance despite the fact that they will face Dyip, a poor squad that has dropped 18 straight games dating back to last season’s Governors’ Cup.
“It’s rare that you beat Ginebra in such a manner, leading by 20-plus points,” Guiao shared.