SAN Miguel Beer and Barangay Ginebra, two of the league’s winningest teams in history, clash today in another heavyweight battle in the 2022 PBA Philippine Cup at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.
The Beermen and the Kings, who have won 14 of the last 18 conferences in Asia’s first play-for-pay league, take the floor at 6 p.m.with the winner taking the top spot in the 12-team, season-opening conference.
The Beermen are unbeaten in three assignments, beating Phoenix Super LPG (108-100), NLEX (100-92) and Magnolia Timplados (87-81).
“We really want a strong start. Ayaw na namin laging naghahabol at minsan nga pasang awa lang ang pasok sa playoffs,” said San Miguel coach Leo Austria, referring to the Beermen’s 3-0 start.
The Kings, on the other hand, are 3-1 following a come-from-behind 83-75 win over NLEX last Wednesday.
The Kings have also won over Blackwater Bossing (85-82) and Rain or Shine (90-85) before losing to Magnolia (84-89).
Ginebra coach Tim Cone was happy that the Kings gained some momentum before their much-awaited faceoff with the June Mar Fajardo’led Beermen.
“It’s a big win as we face a super strong San Miguel Beer team Friday, and you don’t want to get there coming from two losses. The win gives us an opportunity to come in with some momentum and confidence,” said Cone in an interview posted at the official PBA website.
In the 3 p.m. curtainraiser, Phoenix guns for its third straigth win when it meets injury-hit Magnolia Chicken Timplados.
After dropping their first two matches to San Miguel (100-108) and TNT (98-109), the Fuel Masters came back strong to win the next two against Terrafirma (97-74) and Rain or Shine (106-102).
Magnolia went 2-3 in its campaign, with their two victories coming against NorthPort and Ginebra.
(Mall of Asia Arena)
3 p.m. — Phoenix vs. Magnolia
6 p.m. — San Miguel vs Ginebra