GRAND SLAM-seeking San Miguel Beer takes on defending champion Magnolia while Columbian Dyip plays Blackwater in a pair of interesting matches today in the PBA Governors’ Cup at the Mall of Asia Arena.
The Beermen and the Hotshots meet in the main offering at 7 p.m. in a game showcasing two of the hottest imports this conference while the Dyip and the Elite collide in the curtain-raiser at 4:30 p.m.
The Beermen are looking to keep their record clean but their bid for fourth straight victory looks pretty daunting since they are up against a Magnolia team that’s also enjoying great momentum.
The good thing about the Beermen is that they are coming into the game still fresh from a 98-94 win over NLEX last October 4 in Dubai where import Dez Wells came up with a yeoman job after tallying 32 points, 14 rebounds and nine assists.
Like the Beermen, the Hotshots are looking to sustain their hot streak in the season-ending conference which they won last season at the expense of Alaska whom they beat in the finals, 4-2.
The Hotshots are also expected to rely heavily on Romeo Travis in their bid to nail its fourth straight win.
Magnolia lost to Meralco last Sept 21, but has since then rebounded, winning its last three outings capped by a 95-90 thumping of hard-luck Alaska last Oct 6 in a game where Travis scored 17 points, grabbed 12 rebounds and issued nine assists.
Equally-interesting is the meeting between the Dyip and the Elite who are both fighting to stay at least in the middle of the standings.
The Dyip are seeking to rebound from a 125-120 loss to Talk ‘N Text last October 5 and solidify their hold of the sixth spot, a position the Elite also want to wrest by clinching their second straight win.
“Our aim is maka-back-to-back para tumaas ang standing namin at gumanda spot,” said Backwater coach Aris Dimaunahan, whose team is coming off a 107-98 conquest of NorthPort last Saturday that tied it at eighth with Barangay Ginebra.
With a 2-2 slate, Columbian needs every win it could this early to bolster its playoff chances.
“Kailangang manalo kami bukas (Friday). Importante sa amin iyon,” said Cardel. “Kapag nanalo bukas, medyo mas lalaki ang chance namin to make it to quarterfinals kaya sabi ko kailangang kunin namin bukas.”