Commissioner’s Cup quarterfinals under way

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THIRD seed Barangay Ginebra San Miguel and NorthPort open their best-of-three quarterfinals series Wednesday in the Philippine Basketball Association Commissioner’s Cup at the Philsports Arena in Pasig City.

Game 1 of the Gin Kings-Batang Pier duel is set at 6 p.m.

San Miguel Beer and Converge also begin their best-of-three series at 3 p.m.

Ginebra head coach Tim Cone said NorthPort is a serious opponent after the Batang Pier fought back to reach the playoffs with a 6-6 win-loss record in the eliminations.

Robert Bolick, leader in the Best Player of the Conference race, has also been churning in the numbers for NorthPort.

“They are a talented team. They are a tough matchup particularly for us because we like to play big and they like to play small and quick,” Cone said. “We had a tough time against them the last game, but we just made a run in the end.”

Bolick leads the conference with 21.7 points, 4.5 rebounds and 6.5 assists in 12 games, while his former teammate Jamie Malonzo, now with Ginebra, runs second with 14.3 points and 6.7 rebounds.

Cone also warned about NorthPort import Prince Ibeh.

“He’ll be an absolute headache for my players because of his shot-blocking prowess,” said Cone of Ibeh, who’s averaging 4.3 blocks on top of 15.5 points and 13.4 rebounds in 12 games for the Batang Pier.

Import Justin Brownlee, however, won’t let the Gin Kings down along with Scottie Thompson.

The Beermen, meanwhile, expect to have their hands full when they seek revenge against the FiberXers.

San Miguel Beer bowed to Converge, 102-106, last October 21—and the No. 5 Beermen are now complete with June Mar Fajardo and Terrence Romeo fully recovered from injuries.

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