Ginebra to go all out vs Converge
The Manila Times
BARANGAY Ginebra is expected to go all out against Converge as the Gin Kings try to keep their slim hope for a twice-to-beat playoff advantage alive in the 2022-23 PBA Commissioner’s Cup today, November 30, at the PhilSports Arena. Both teams enter their 5:45 p.m. match tied at third place with identical 8-3 records behind Bay Area (10-2) and Magnolia (9-2). The Dragons already secured the first of two twice-to-beat advantages in the quarterfinals. The Gin Kings will simply try to take care of their own business and hope that the Magnolia Hotshots drop their final game versus the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters on Friday at the close of the elimination round. Tim Cone knows their destiny is no longer in their hands, considering that Ginebra dropped a crucial 120-117 overtime loss to NLEX last week, a defeat that dealt a crucial blow in the team’s bid to finish in the top 2. “Right now we don’t control our destiny,” Cone said matter-of-factly. “Magnolia has to lose to Rain or Shine and we have to win (against Converge) to get the top 2. So we don’t focus on (getting the) top 2 (finish) because we don’t have control over it.” Nonetheless, Ginebra is set to face a Converge side that has been playing impressive basketball under new coach Aldin Ayo. If not for the tardiness of import Quincy Miller in practice, who was benched by Ayo in the team’s 112-97 loss to NorthPort last week, the FiberXers would have been competing also for the twice-to-beat incentive. Still, Cone expects Converge to play with fire in its belly, especially Miller, who will be back in harness. Meanwhile, Meralco tries to keep its flickering playoff bid alive when it goes up against sister team NLEX at 3 p.m. The road to that goal though won’t be easy considering the Bolts (4-6), currently at ninth spot, won’t have big man Raymond Almazan due to a sprained ankle he sustained over the weekend in that tough 12-point defeat to the Magnolia Hotshots. Almazan joins wingman Chris Newsome in the injured list as the Fil-Am swingman is still recovering from calf injury. The Bolts need to beat the Road Warriors (4-7) today and the San Miguel Beermen on Friday to possibly force at least a playoff in case there will be multiple teams figuring in a tie at 6-6 at the close of the elims.