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San Miguel def Brgy. Ginebra, 95-82 [PBA S48 Comm’s Cup | Dec. 15, 2023]

Hostlities in the PBA Season 48 Commissioner’s Cup shift back to the Smart Araneta Coliseum Friday, kicking off heavy action at the Big Dome during the holidays highlighted by a Christmas Day special double-header.

For starter, titleholder Barangay Ginebra and San Miguel Beer clash in the 8 p.m. mainer, with each side looking to shake off sluggishness with hopes of a juggernaut for a Top 4 finish in the single-round-robin eliminations.

At the moment, coach Tim Cone’s troops are barely in the magic circle with a 4-2 win-loss mark as they were stunned by the Phoenix Super LPG Fuel Masters, 82-77, in a road showdown in San Jose, Batangas Saturday.

Coach Jorge Gallent’s crew is at joint sixth with the TNT Tropang Giga at 3-3, dragged down in the team standings by back-to-back defeats to NorthPort, 115-101, and Magnolia, 94-90.

Obviously, the Beermen are having a hard time finding a good rhythm minus injury-hit players June Mar Fajardo, Terrence Romeo, Vic Manuel and Jeron Teng.

A challenge for import Ivan Aska, CJ Perez, Moala Tautuaa, Marcio Lassiter and Chris Ross is how to lead the team into the groove on a sustained basis.

This challenge gets tougher as they take on the Gin Kings who have become more formidable with the addition of Maverick Ahanmisi and the return of Jamie Malonzo and LA Tenorio.

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