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MANILA, Philippines — B-Meg and Barangay Ginebra clash Sunday in a game that may show which team benefited more from the recent trade that involved two of their major players.

B-Meg obtained 6-9 center Yancy de Ocampo from Ginebra which in turn got young forward Rico Maierhofer from B-Meg plus Allein Maliksi from Red Bull.

The two teams collide at 5:30 p.m. at the resumption of the PBA Philippine Cup at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum and the question foremost in the minds of observers is which team got it right?

B-Meg mentor Tim Cone has no doubt that De Ocampo will improve his team’s ‘‘triangle offense’’ system.
“Yancy is a prototypical triangle center and we feel, in time, that he’ll be successful with us,” said Cone, whose team is coming off a 92-89 double overtime win against his former team Alaska that improved their record at 5-4 last Sunday.

Cone said that they can utilize de Ocampo’s height advantage in running the ‘‘triangle’’ instead of Maierhofer, who is struggling to find the minutes since he is playing behind veterans Kerby Raymundo, Marc Pingris and Joe Devance at the power forward spot, and with James Yap in the small forward position.

“The trade of Rico for Yancy was about finding a place where Rico could receive substantial playing time and have an opportunity to grow as a player. No doubt, Rico was stuck behind the three position, and four spot, which limited his playing time,” added Cone.

In short, Maierhoffer has practically no place in Cone’s triangle.

With de Ocampo, Cone is confident he now has enough weapons to face Ginebra, which is fresh from a 92-79 triumph that kept newcomer winless in 10 outings.

“Ginebra is always the toughest opponent. Controlling their guards is always a huge challenge, and defensively, they’re always hard to beat,” said Cone who is also concerned with the huge crowd behind Ginebra.

“We’ll have to keep our poise and see if we can keep the Ginebra crowd out of the game,” he said.

On the other hand, the addition of Maierhofer, the league’s Rookie of the Year two seasons back, and the 6-foot-4 Maliksi, the first MVP of the PBA D-League and the No. 8 overall pick by Barako Bull in the previous Rookie Draft, will bring quickness and versatility to Ginebra.

Coach Siot Tanquingcen said that the ability of the two to play different positions is good for the Kings.

“With Rico, we can use him either at the three or four spots, while Allein can play two or three, and that makes our team more versatile,” said Tanquingcen. “Plus, being young the two likes to run and push the ball on offense. They are also good defenders.”

“But just like in some trades, chemistry will be the key factor. So we’ll see. It will be a tough test facing B-Meg,” he added.

Clashing in the first game at 3:15 p.m. are Alaska and, with the Aces hoping to win back-to-back games following a 121-111 victory over the Powerade Tigers Friday night.

The league rescheduled Sunday’s games an hour earlier from its original time of 4:15 p.m. to give way to the TV coverage of AKTV for the gold medal game of the Sinag Pilipinas versus Thailand in the Southeast Asian Games at 7 p.m. in Indonesia.


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