Kings vs Hotshots in Bubble Clasico

Published October 25, 2020, 7:49 AM

by Jonas Terrado

Barangay Ginebra guard Scottie Thompson (PBA Images)

Unbeaten Barangay Ginebra San Miguel aims to continue its mastery of struggling Magnolia under different circumstances on Sunday in the PBA Philippine Cup at the Angeles University Foundation Sports and Cultural Center.

Ginebra and Magnolia square off at 6:45 p.m. in the renewal of their rivalry that will be temporarily be known as the “Bubble Clasico” with the ongoing season being played with no audience as part of protocols amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Rain or Shine tries to recover from absorbing its first loss this season in the 4 p.m. faceoff with skidding Blackwater.

Coach Tim Cone and Ginebra enter the match oozing with confidence after starting the season with four consecutive victories, including Wednesday’s 86-71 defeat of Phoenix Super LPG.

The Kings have been getting consistent performances from Stanley Pringle, Scottie Thompson and the improving Prince Caperal while Japeth Aguilar and LA Tenorio are continuing to make progress after struggling in the first two weeks inside the bubble.

Ginebra comes into the match having won 19 of 28 matches against the Purefoods franchise since Cone joined the league’s most popular ballclub in the 2015-16 season, including the last 11 elimination round meetings.

Magnolia enters the marquee game looking for a win that will boost its morale after dropping three straight, including a heartbreaker Friday night against Phoenix.

The Hotshots led 80-67 with eight minutes to go when things suddenly went awry as the Fuel Masters scored 22 straight points to steal the win 91-84.

The loss brought Magnolia’s record to 1-4, an unusual scenario for a team groomed as one of the contenders inside the bubble.

Paul Lee, Chris Banchero, Mark Barroca, Jio Jalalon, Ian Sangalang and Jackson Corpuz are hoping to make up for their woes and end the Kings’ hot start.