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Brownlee, Pringle iihawin ang Magnolia

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TAGAY NA!

Mga laro ngayon: (MOA Arena)
4:30pm — Blackwater vs. Rain or Shine
6:45pm — Ginebra vs. Magnolia
Manila Clasico agad ang bakbakan sa unang araw ng quarterfinals ng PBA Commissioner’s Cup mamaya sa MOA Arena.

Babalatan ng Ginebra at Magnolia ang best-of-three series mamayang alas-siyete nang gabi.

Tinapos ng defending champion Gin Kings ang eliminations sa 7-4 win-loss record para upuan ang No. 4, nasa ilalim nila ang No. 5 Hotshots na 0-4 sa huling apat na laro at 5-6 overall.

“It’s the playoffs and Manila Clasico, so it’s always times 2 in terms of motivation,” ani Ginebra coach Tim Cone.

Sa eliminations ay inaari ng Gins ang Hotshots, ibang usapan pagdating ng playoffs.

“The last two conferences, we’ve beaten them in the elims only to fall short against them in the playoffs,” paalala ni Cone. “We need to change that narrative this time around. They always find a way to play big in the playoffs so, as usual, we’ll need to lift our game. It’s going to be a great battle.”

Nagtagpo sa quarterfinals din ng nakaraang Philippine Cup, itinagay ng Ginebra ang unang laro bago tinuhog ng Magnolia ang sumunod na dalawa ng race-to-two series.

Si Best Import Justin Brownlee pa rin ang bumubuhat sa Gins, sa huling dalawang laro ay dalawang beses ding naghulma ng PBA-best niyang 49 at 50 points.

May Stanley Pringle pang aasahan si Cone, bukod kina regulars Japeth Aguilar, Greg Slaughter, LA Tenorio at Scottie Thompson.

Nagparada ng bagong import ang Magnolia kay Rakeem Christmas sa final game ng elims.

Dumating si Christmas ng Lunes, Miyer­koles ay sumabak na agad pero hindi nagawang isalba ang Hotshots na tumukod kay Terrence Jones at TNT 98-83. Nagkasya lang si Christmas sa 8 points mula 2 of 10 shooting, may 14 rebounds at 3 assists kontra 5 turnovers. (Vladi Eduarte)

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