The Petron Blaze road series swings over to Digos, Davao del Sur, with Barangay Ginebra featured in a third straight Saturday bill, looking to go above the .500 mark versus Blackwater at the Davao del Sur Coliseum.
The Kings (2-2) have snapped out of a two-game skid, and they seek a second straight win to improve their record in the upper half of the team standings.
The Elite, meanwhile, are now on a precarious spot at 1-4. They have to figure out a way to come out of the rut or they would get buried deeper down the chart.
Game time is at 5 p.m. with the Gin Kings setting out as the heavy favorites with their deep bench improved even more by the return of Jeff Chan.
Even if coach Tim Cone chooses to rest Japeth Aguilar with his sprained ankle, Ginebra has a massive frontline that could be a big, big problem to Blackwater.
Add the backcourt talents of LA Tenorio, Scottie Thompson and Sol Mercado, and it's really no-brainer that odds are stacked heavily on Ginebra's side.
Perhaps, the Elite could find relief if they can shoot better than their mere 14.1 percent shooting from the arc and 29.1-percent clip overall. Or if Blackwater can lessen its average of 15.37 turnovers per game.
The Kings shoot a lot better but also commit more errors.
Cone and his troops have also accepted the reality that they would be on the road a lot more than the other ball clubs.
Because of the rigors of the travels and all the distractions on being on the road, Cone hinted his preference on playing in Manila.
"I always tell my players to control the things you can control. We cannot control the schedule so we have to deal with it the best we can," said Cone.
He mentioned the travels they have to make when playing a game in Digos.
"You travel two hours going to the venue just for practice, then two hours again going back to the hotel," he said.
But he's not complaining.
"The travel wears you out. But we're Ginebra. Where we go, the fans go. They need us around so we understand that. We accept it, and we accept the challenge of it," said Cone.
The Kings are 2-1 so far outside of Manila. (SB)