Brgy. Ginebra, Meralco revisit rivalry

The PBA Commissioner’s Cup race to the quarterfinals is reaching its final stages, and Meralco and Barangay Ginebra are two prominent teams battling it out to secure their spots.

With a record of 6-1, coach Luigi Trillo and his Bolts have already secured their passage into the Last Eight. Their focus now is on maintaining their momentum and aiming for a Top 4 finish, which comes with the added advantage of a twice-to-beat quarters bonus.

Coach Tim Cone and his Gin Kings, currently at 4-3, are also in contention for a Top 4 spot.

However, before thinking about their position in the standings, Tony Bishop and his teammates need to address their recent two-game losing streak and secure their ticket to the quarterfinals.

Currently ranked at No. 5, they are trailing behind the Magnolia Hotshots (8-1), the Phoenix Super LPG Fuel Masters (7-1), the Bolts, and the San Miguel Beermen (5-3).

The NorthPort Batang Pier (5-4), the TNT Tropang Giga (4-4), and the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters (3-5) are lurking behind the defending champions.

Tonight, the Bolts and the Gin Kings will face off at 8 p.m. at the Smart Araneta Coliseum, making it a virtual playoff match.

This matchup is particularly interesting as Meralco, led by their new reinforcement Zach Lofton, will go head-to-head against their longtime rivals. Lofton, a former Detroit Piston, has provided a tremendous boost to the Bolts not only in their PBA bid but also in their East Asia Super League campaign.

Currently, the Bolts are on a hot streak and will be looking to continue their winning momentum against Brgy. Ginebra, who are aiming to bounce back after consecutive losses to Phoenix (82-77) and San Miguel (95-82).

The Gin Kings’ scoring average had been slightly below 100 points per game, but in their most recent two matches, they only managed to score 77 and 82 points respectively.

It is crucial for them to rediscover their rhythm in order to match the performance of the Bolts, who have been consistently scoring an average of 101.25 points per game with a shooting percentage of 46 percent.

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