Manila Clasico matchup could determine Ginebra’s playoff fate, says Cone

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Barangay Ginebra’s struggles this conference are evident.

After coming off a Philippine Cup run which saw them take the San Miguel Beermen to five games, the team is on the outside looking in. With a 2-5 win-loss record at 10th place, their playoff hopes are in peril.

And no more than head coach Tim Cone is aware of the fact.

They’ll need to book a win tomorrow against the fifth-place Magnolia Hotshots in this conference’s Manila Clasico matchup, and he knows that a victory for either team will be vital for the playoff hunt.

“It’s the Manila Classico and both teams need a win big time, so it will be exciting,” he told FOX Sports Philippines ahead of tomorrow’s game.

It will be the second matchup between the two squads this season. They both squared off for the first time last conference, where a big double-double from Greg Slaughter (24 points, 12 rebounds, four blocks) helped the Kings overcome Ian Sangalang’s then career-high performance for the 89-78 victory.

It won’t be any easier this time, as the Hotshots are coming off a solid 111-89 victory over behind the 6-2 TNT KaTropa.

“They are coming off a huge must-win against TNT and are confident. For us, this game could decide our playoff life. We need to be ready,” Cone said.

Ginebra has some low marks the board. They’re the second-lowest scoring (93.71 points per game) and the third-worst shooting (42 percent team field goal percentage) team today.

A win today would keep them in pace with Phoenix, Columbian, and San Miguel for the last two playoff spots.

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