Barangay Ginebra is coming off their worst loss this conference against the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters, 117-108. Though they didn’t lose in double digits (unlike in their loss against SMC), it was pretty much a one-sided game throughout the second half, where the Gin Kings were simply outplayed. Everyone should give Ginebra credit though for trying to mount a comeback in the final minutes of the fourth quarter, only to be denied by Paul Lee’s three off the glass that sealed the game.

Now, we go to the second part of their so called “Hell Week”. The Kings’ will face-off against the San Miguel Beermen, who dropped their last game against a lowly Meralco Bolts squad. This is a match that everyone has been waiting for ever since Greg Slaughter joined the PBA. He and June Mar Fajardo will finally face in the hard court again and everyone’s tuned in on how this epic rivalry between the two most promising young centers in the league today will turn out.

Keys to the Game

Neutralize the Kraken

Beware of the Kraken. (Photo Credit: Pranz Kaeno Billones, Sports5)

Beware of the Kraken. (Photo Credit: Pranz Kaeno Billones, Sports5)

This might be a daunting task even for a stacked Ginebra squad and their tall front line. Even though SMB lost 2 of their last 3 games, June Mar has been a monster this whole conference. He’s averaging 22.6 points and 19.6 rebounds since losing to Talk N’ Text, and a lot of people believe that Fajardo is going to run away with the MVP plum this year considering the level of his performance throughout the season.



vs TNT

20 14

vs GBP

26 27

vs MER

22 18

Fajardo has almost single-handedly carried this Beerman squad (if not for the presence of SMB import Reggie Williams) and that makes him the prime target for any team that wants to beat SMB. we could go so as far as saying that if Ginebra is able to contain June Mar, then they’ll be able to beat SMB.

The main task of Ginebra’s defense in their match against SMB is to keep June Mar from wrecking havoc inside the paint. That means that they should make it hard for him in the post, keep him out of his comfort zone, and push him outside the paint. Make him settle for jumpers, and though Fajardo has shown that he can knock down those perimeter shots, I’d choose those any day than having him get his groove inside the paint. This is where Greg Slaughter comes in, technically he’s the only player in that Ginebra roster that can match-up against Fajardo and he will probably spend most of his time matched up against him. The Kings’ tough as nails big men Billy Mamaril and JR Reyes will also probably see action against the Kraken just to give him different looks. They’ll go out there and try to prevent Fajardo from grabbing those boards and prevent him from scoring at will in the offensive end.

It should be interesting to see what trick Coach Jeff Cariaso tries to play in order to contain June Mar. I’m pretty sure ever since he found out that they’ll play SMB next, he’s been devising a way to neutralize the Kraken.

Convert Those 3s/Missing Mac

In this game, Ginebra must convert from behind the arc. Their reliable shooters need to come out with their guns blazing in this one. Connecting from 3-point range means the Kings’ will able to stretch the defense of the Beermen, especially since Fajardo will be protecting the paint well. We’ve seen how much Fajardo affects the offense of every opponent. If Ginebra can make this a shootout, they’ll have a better chance at winning this battle. Ever since his breakout game against Barako Bull, LA Tenorio’s shooting has been hot lately, while veteran Jayjay Helterbrand has found ways to help his team by making those crucial shots from behind the arc.

The main concern for now is Mac Baracael, the Kings’ most reliable 3pt shooter, who has been on a shooting slump starting from their loss against the San Mig Coffee Mixers. He has shot a combined 0 of 8 from 3-point distance since that loss. This should be a perfect time for him to break out of his slump and start draining those three pointers.



vs SMC


vs BAR


vs ROS


Crash the Boards

This should be another daunting task for Barangay Ginebra in this game, but should they be able to pull it off and win against the Beermen in rebounding battle, then their chances of coming out victorious in this one will look much better. This is what makes SMB a tough opponent, since they are able to grab a lot of offensive rebounds because of the presence of June Mar who gives his team easy scores and extra possessions.



vs ALA (L)


vs ROS (W)


vs SMC (W)


vs BAR (W)


vs TNT (L)


vs GBP (W)


vs MER (L)


Key Match-Up

Gregzilla vs Kraken

The giants will finally meet in hardcourt again. (Photo Credit:

The giants will finally meet in hardcourt again. (Photo Credit:

This is the match-up that everyone has been waiting for a long time. It got postponed two times but finally we’ll see Slaughter and Fajardo on the hard court at the same time. This game is important as both of their teams are entering the crucial stretch of the conference and because of that, we can expect Greg and June Mar to go all out to help their team win this match. Slaughter is having a great rookie season while Fajardo is having a season impressive enough for him to be considered for the MVP award in just his second year in the league.

Who will come out on top? Gregzilla or Kraken? Barangay Ginebra or San Miguel Beermen?