B-Meg Llamados versus Barangay Ginebra Kings
An old rivalry revisited. The Barangay Ginebra Kings changed their name many times. They were called Gilbey’s Gin, Añejo Rum 69ers, and Gordon’s Gin Boars. The B-Meg franchise also has gone through a lot of name changes from Coney Island Ice Cream Stars, Purefoods Oodles, Purefoods Chunky Giants, Corned Beef Cowboys, Carne Norte Beefies, to Purefoods Tender Juicy Hotdogs.
When Barangay Ginebra had Robert Jaworski, Purefoods had Ramon Fernandez.
When Purefoods had Alvin Patrimonio, Jerry Codiñera, and Dindo Pumaren, Barangay Ginebra had Marlou Aquino, Noli Locsin, and Bal David. The team names and the faces have changed but the rivalry between these two sister teams remains as fierce as ever.
Fire versus Fire
The two teams feature a potent mix of scorers. Ginebra has Jay-jay Helterbrand, Mike Cortez, and KG Canaleta who can light it up at any given night. B-Meg on the other hand has James Yap, PJ Simon, and Joe Devance to carry the brunch of the production on offense. Because both teams are such potent scorers, the key in this match-up is which team will play better on defense.
The Familiar versus The New and Improved
Coaching will play a huge factor in this series that features two veteran tacticians. The difference is that Barangay Ginebra head coach Siot Tanquincen has been with his team longer. His players have adapted to his system are and comfortable with it. B-Meg head coach Tim Cone has only been with the Llamados for less than a year. He’s still in the process of introducing the Triangle Offense to a team that usually relied on a lot of isolation plays and motion offense.
Denzel Bowles versus Rudy Hatfield
Right after winning their series against the Meralco Bolts, B-Meg import Denzel Bowles was asked how he thinks his match-up with Ginebra import Jackson Vroman would go. Bowles surprisingly said that he was looking forward to his match-up with Rudy Hatfield, not Vroman. If Hatfield somehow contains Bowles, then Ginebra has a better shot at winning. But Bowles has improved by a lot in their quarter-finals series against Meralco. In that game, Bowles carried B-Meg on his shoulders
These two teams split their two meeting in the classification round. B-Meg won the first one while Ginebra won the more important playoff game for the automatic semis slot. This is basically a toss-up but a big factor is the absence of Mark Caguioa. The spitfire guard injured his eye in their last meeting as was out for the first game. His production was sorely missed as B-Meg went on to win Game 1, 82-67.
Expect a tight match which hopefully will go five games but in the end the absence of Caguiao might be little too much for Ginebra to overcome.
The B-Meg Llamados will win in 3-2