(Ynares Center, Antipolo City)
4:15 p.m. – Kia vs Blackwater
7 p.m. – TNT KaTropa vs GlobalPort
TNT KaTropa is slowly getting its groove back but coach Nash Racela believes his teams remains far from what he’s envisioning going into tonight’s clash with the GlobalPort Batang Pier in the PBA Governors’ Cup at the Ynares Center in Antipolo City.
The KaTropa eye their third straight win in the 7 p.m. contest that would make them in serious discussions among the title-contending teams in the season-ending conference.
Racela and his squad are playing for the second straight playdate after pummeling the Blackwater Elite, 117-96, Wednesday at the Mall of Asia Arena. The resounding win, however, failed to satisfy the 44-year-old mentor.
“We are all aware that the situation right now is not quite well yet. We are looking for stability now. As a coach, I expect my players to play smart,” said Racela.
He was perhaps referring to slow recovery from his players who served the national team – namely Jayson Castro and Roger Pogoy from the FIBA Asia Cup and Troy Rosario in the Kuala Lumpur Southeast Asian Games.
Racela is also looking at more production from import Glen Rice Jr., who seems to have secured his spot after a dismal debut against Rain or Shine was followed by back-to-back games of 30-plus points in wins over Phoenix and Blackwater.
GlobalPort, however, surely wants to keep Racela doubting at his own team as it tries to capitalize on the positives gained from Friday’s 115-112 loss to San Miguel when the Batang Pier almost pulled off an upset victory after being ahead for some parts of the game.
Meanwhile, Blackwater tries to get back on track against Kia in the 4:15 p.m. opener, though attention will be on the impending debut of Chris Ellis and Dave Marcelo.
Ellis and Marcelo were traded from Barangay Ginebra San Miguel in exchange for the injured Art dela Cruz and Raymond Aguilar, a move that the PBA has yet to approve at presstime.
The two players hope to gain a fresh start at Blackwater, eyeing to move back in a .500 record after the frustrating loss to TNT.
Import Henry Walker leads the Elite’s bid against the Picanto, a team that looked lost as it has yet to produce a win in seven games this conference.
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