Barangay Ginebra bounced back with a win against Blackwater in their last game after losing to NLEX in a 4th quarter meltdown. They are going up against next against Purefoods Star Hotshots and we all know what that means. It’s time for another round of Manila Clasico, and as usual there are various sub-plots that makes a match between Ginebra and Purefoods exciting to watch.
This is the first time this conference that defending champions Purefoods Star Hotshots will parade a (almost) complete lineup (Ian Sangalang is out for the remainder of the conference due to an ACL injury). Marc Pingris played for the first time in their last game, while James Yap who was sidelined for two games due to a hamstring injury is expected to return just time in to play against Ginebra.
Expect Marc Pingris to be roaring with energy and hustle when he takes on the Ginebra big men. Controlling the paint will be a big key for Ginebra in this game. Will Japeth Aguilar and Greg Slaughter be able to use their height advantage against a smaller Purefoods frontline and impose their will on the paint?
James Yap has always been a thorn to the side of the Kings whenever they play each other. The Kings should clamp down on the Purefoods star and prevent him from getting his groove on, once he starts hot he’ll never stop. While on the otherhand, Mark Caguioa is coming from his best game this conference with 18 points against Blackwater. Perhaps Mark will provide another much-needed spark in order for Ginebra to win this one. Who will lift his team over the other? The Spark or Big Game James?
Last but not the spotlight falls upon the coaches of these teams. It’s the classic teacher vs student showdown between Coach Tim Cone and Coach Jeffrey Cariaso. With Cariaso employing the same Triangle Offense that he has studied under Cone for years, it all boils down to who will be able to execute better in the game. In their first time meeting each other, Coach Tim got the better of Coach Jeff. This time will Cariaso be able to turn the tables around?