(Smart Araneta Coliseum)
4:30 p.m. — San Miguel Beer vs Magnolia
6:45 p.m. — Ginebra vs Rain or Shine
Barangay Ginebra opens its title defense on Sunday against a desperate Rain or Shine team in the main game of the scheduled double header in the Philippine Basketball Association Governors’ Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
The Gin Kings and the Elasto Painters clash at 6:45 p.m. right after the equally explosive encounter between San Miguel Beer and Magnolia, which square off at 4:30 p.m.
Ginebra, the league’s most popular team, only started practicing on Sunday following its record-breaking Game 7 encounter against Bay Area on 15 January played in front of 54,589 fans at the Philippine Arena to capture the Commissioner’s Cup.
Veteran guard LA Tenorio told Daily Tribune that he’s about to complete his recovery from a strain between his groin and abdomen area.
“I’m still on the healing process, but will try to play on Sunday,” wrote Tenorio in a text message.
For the winless Elasto Painters, Sunday’s game against the Gin Kings will be a make-or-break scenario for import Michael Qualls, who failed to carry his squad in getting good results the last three games.
The game between the Beermen and the Hotshots will have two teams coming off opposite paths.
San Miguel had won its first three games to stay abreast with Converge, the tournament leader, which carries a 4-0 win-loss record.
The Hotshots, on the other hand, had lost their first two games and they will be hard-pressed to get that elusive win at the expense of the loaded Beermen, who had been getting good games from new addition, Allyn Bulanadi.
Plucked from a trade involving Jerrick Balanza and guard Paul Zamar, Bulanadi has become a key contributor for the Beermen and scored in double digits in two of those first three victories.