PBA action resumes with crucial double-header
Joey Villar, Nelson Beltran (The Philippine Star) - March 10, 2015 - 6:44pm

Games Wednesday (Ynares Center-Antipolo)

4:15 p.m. – Blackwater vs Alaska

7 p.m. – Ginebra vs NLEX

MANILA, Philippines – After a weekend of fun in Palawan, the PBA gets back into serious business with Barangay Ginebra, NLEX, Alaska Milk and Blackwater featured in a crucial double-header at the resumption of the Commissioner’s Cup at the Ynares Sports Center in Antipolo Wednesday night.

The Gin Kings try to close in on the playoffs while the Road Warriors seek to barge into the Top Eight as they face off at 7 p.m. These two teams had seven returnees from the All-Star festivities in Puerto Princesa.

The 4:15 p.m. curtain-raiser, meanwhile, pits Alaska Milk and Blackwater, two teams fighting for survival entering the homestretch of the elims. The Aces and the Elite had four participants in the All-Stars.

All four teams are hoping they were able to do their job during the All-Star break – fun for the players but a distraction for the programs of the coaches.

“This will be a tough one for us because of the All-Star break. We didn’t have the opportunity to practice with a complete lineup but we know what’s at stake in this game,” said NLEX coach Boyet Fernandez.

Before the break, the Road Warriors won three of their last four games, giving them a chance to make the Top Eight in their game versus the Kings.

“Ginebra is a very strong team, man for man, talent for talent. Our team defense will be crucial if we want to win,” Fernandez said.

The Gin Kings are at fifth place at 4-3, a full game in front of the Road Warriors at 3-4.

Uncertain is the status of Ginebra top gun Mark Caguioa, who missed the All-Stars due to an injury.

The Aces (2-5) and the Elite (2-6) figure in a virtual knockout setto.

“The Blackwater game is crucial for us. We all know how good Marcus Douthit is and we really need to come out with sustained defensive intensity if we are going to be able to win this game. I think we all understand that our backs are against the wall,” said Alaska coach Alex Compton.

With Compton calling the shots for the South team in the All-Star Game, assistant coach Louie Alas was left in Manila to do Alaska’s preparation against Blackwater.

Meanwhile, already in progress is the process being done by Global Solutions Inc. to make the shortlist of candidates for game commissioner/chief operating officer of the newly structured PBA body.

“Global Solutions is the group we’ve tapped as headhunter. They’re now interviewing possible candidates for the position,” PBA board chairman Patrick Gregorio told The STAR.

Former PBA board member JB Baylon has received an invitation for an interview.

ACES AND THE ELITE ALASKA MILK AND BLACKWATER ALEX COMPTON ALL-STAR GAME ANTIPOLO WEDNESDAY BARANGAY GINEBRA GIN KINGS GINEBRA ROAD WARRIORS TOP EIGHT
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