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PBA: Kings almost there

Stanley Pringle
Stanley Pringle of Barangay Ginebra in action.

THREE down, one to go for Barangay Ginebra.

And based on the Gin Kings’ performance in last Sunday’s pivotal Game 4, the coronation night for the league’s first-ever champion in the coronavirus-era is set Wednesday.

Ginebra coach Tim Cone feels the time is now.

In fact, the multi-titled American coach felt the Gin Kings have played the best-ever game in the NBA-inspired PBA bubble since it started last Oct. 11.

I really felt we played the best game of the whole bubble,” said Cone after Ginebra’s convincing 98-88 win over Talk N Text in Game 4 of their best-of-seven championship series.

I really this is our best game of the series by far. I think the best game of the conference. We hit big shots all night. We made plays, we made defensive plays. Held the lead for the most part before they made their run,” recalled Cone, who is hoping to lead Ginebra to its first All-Filipino title in 13 years.

Cone now hopes to get the same electric effort as the Gin Kings try to finish off the Tropang Giga in Game 5 on Wednesday.

Game 6, if necessary, is scheduled on Friday.

Even though we played the best game of the whole bubble, it was just barely enough to beat Talk N Text,” said Cone. “I hope we can carry it into Wednesday (Game 5),” he added.

Cone had nice words for his star guard LA Tenorio, who stepped up for the Gin Kings with back-to-back three-point shots to frustrate the Tropang Giga’s rally.

He (Tenorio) was really calm under pressure. RR Pogoy was making incredible shots and they’re getting pumped up. It’s hard to respond but that’s what LA did,” said Cone.

Those two shots LA did were cold-blooded.

Tenorio finished with 22 points in what could be his finest performance in the bubble as he moved closer to winning his first PBA title with Ginebra.

It was not all Tenorio, however.

Japeth Aguilar came through with 22 points, nine rebounds and two blocks while Stanley Pringle added 16 points despite hitting only
5-of-15 shooting.

Scottie Thompson also had a near triple-double with 11 points, 11 rebounds and nine assists.

Joe Devance also shone with eight points and 10 rebounds,Jared Dillinger had seven points and Prince Caperal had six points and 12 rebounds.

Pogoy was the lone bright spot for Talk N Text with 34 points.

Poy Erram added 19 points and 16 rebounds and Troy Rosario contributed 16 points for the Tropang Giga, who continued to play minus ace gunner Ray Parks.

Jayson Castro was also hardly a factor with only 10 points while playing with a nagging injury.

Game Wednesday:
(AUF Sports Center)
6 p.m. — Talk N Text vs. Ginebra