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Kings, Warriors eye back-to-back

MANILA, Philippines — After ending 2017 on a winning note, NLEX and Barangay Ginebra now set out to start the new year  with a bang as they tangle with Phoenix Petroleum and GlobalPort, respectively, at the resumption of the PBA Philippine Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum tonight.

The Road Warriors, off to a rousing start in PBA Season 43 with back-to-back wins over the Kia Picanto (119-115) and the GlobalPort Hotshots (115-104), hope to make it three in a row as they take on the Fuel Masters at 4:30 p.m.

NLEX rookie Kiefer Ravena in action against GlobalPort. | PBA Images
The Kings, meanwhile, seek a follow-up on their winning season debut against the Magnolia Hotshots (89-78) on Christmas Day, as they tackle the Batang Pier at 6:45 p.m.

“It’s the crucial stage in our quest to define ourselves as contenders. Teams are preparing harder for us so we must prepare as hard against them,” said Guiao, believing Phoenix, for one, is a dangerous opponent.

“Phoenix is knocking at the doorstep of the league’s elite teams. New faces and new coaching staff are changing the culture of this team. That’s very dangerous for all the other teams,” said Guiao of the Phoenix team now playing a new system under new coach Louie Alas.

Meanwhile, after making their season debuts on Christmas Day, Ginebra and GlobalPort play their second game in the tourney against each other.

The Kings, the reigning Governors Cup back-to-back titlists, are the odds-on pick although they have more players on the injured list in Joe Devance, Sol Mercado and Art dela Cruz.

For GlobalPort, down with injury is top gun Terrence Romeo.

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