Phoenix def Brgy. Ginebra, 82-77 [PBA S48 Comm’s Cup | Dec. 9, 2023]

The Philippine Basketball Association will be back on the road on Saturday, swinging back to Southern Luzon with a special game – pitting Barangay Ginebra and Phoenix Super LPG — in a first-ever visit in San Jose, Batangas.

The Gin Kings and the Fuel Masters attended a meet-and-greet session at the San Jose Municipal Hall Sunday to kick off the visit that culminates in the league’s inaugural game in a brand new arena named after the late movie king Fernando Poe Jr.

Tip-off is at 6:30 p.m. in the game also serving as LA Tenorio’s homecoming in the province. The veteran Ginebra guard is from Nasugbu.

It’s also a homecoming for PBA commissioner Willie Marcial, from nearby Batangas City, who was among those present during the inauguration of the FPJ Arena just last Aug. 20 – the 84th birth anniversary of Poe, a national artist for film.

“It’s a brand new gym where we’ll hold a first PBA game, and so this is a very special event,” said Marcial of the tiff where both the Gin Kings and the Fuel Masters will stake their hot streaks.

Coach Jamike Jarin’s Fuel Masters are right behind pacesetter Magnolia Hotshots (6-0) with a 5-1 card. They set out for battle riding the momentum of a four-game run.

Coach Tim Cone and his Gin Kings, meanwhile, are at 4-1 coming from three successive losses after a heartbreaker in their Manila Clasico duel with the Hotshots.

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