It’s on for the “Manila Clasico” duel between Magnolia and Barangay Ginebra in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup semifinals.
Taking the cue from the No. 2 Hotshots’ quarterfinal disposal of No. 7 Phoenix Friday, the third-ranked Gin Kings finished off No. 6 Northport with a 99-93 clincher in Saturday’s Game 2 at the PhilSports Arena.
The result completed a 2-0 sweep of the best-of-three series for the crowd darlings, who earlier took the head start with a 118-102 triumph last Wednesday.
The sister teams renew their celebrated rivalry in a race-to-three dispute for a finals berth beginning next week.
“We have a few days to kinda get over this (quarterfinal matchup with NorthPort) and move on to the next,” said Ginebra coach Tim Cone.
“But I’m concerned because we didn’t play that well tonight. We play like that against Magnolia and it’s not gonna be much of a Clasico. We gotta pick it up,” he added.
Cone’s concern stemmed from Ginebra’s woeful start in Game 2, where NorthPort raced to a 29-11 lead in the first.
It took a 30-18 exchange in the second canto to put the Gin Kings within striking distance, 47-43. Another big quarter after restart, 29-19, allowed Cone’s troops to wrest control, 72-66.