Old and familiar foes meet once again but this time around it is during the earlier stages of the playoffs.
The Barangay Ginebra will go head-to-head with its Governors’ Cup rival the Meralco Bolts in a best-of-three quarterfinals duel set at the main event and will be held at the Smart Araneta Coliseum, 7 PM.
With Justin Brownlee, the team NSD win back-to-back finals against Bolts import Allen Durham.
However, in this 2018 PBA Commissioner’s Cup, the entire Barangay Ginebra squad needs to find a solution to the bigger and meaner Arinze Onuaku.
“We’re familiar foes. We’ve battle each other a lot in the playoffs over recent years, and every series has been close and tight with incredible moments,” said Ginebra coach Tim Cone.
“Meralco is always especially good when they have a dominant inside import, and Onuaku is definitely that. Our ability to defend the paint will be crucial,” Cone also said.
In their first and lone match back in June 1, Onuaku seems like the Incredible Hulk as he muscled Ginebra inside the paint. Onuaku delivered 24 points and grabbed 23 rebounds. Chris Newsome also made a good contribution in that game as well as Anjo Caram who thrown some pesky defense to Gin Kings guard LA Tenorio.
Although Brownlee made a triple-double in their initial bout with 20 points, 16 rebounds and 12 assists, Meralco went successful on spoiling his comeback. With Onuaku, Dillinger, Newsome, Caram and Hodge in the first five, Meralco went blazing as they mount their lead in the first quarter 28-22.
However, after losing to Meralco and another one in their next game, Ginebra able to find its lost mojo and then the winning streak got switched on. Barangay Ginebra will be entering this playoffs with having a winning momentum as they swept their last five assignments.
“We’ll not be satisfied and we’ll continue to focus on getting better,” said Brownlee, easily the biggest key in their rally from their woeful start in the mid-season tourney.