BARANGAY Ginebra looks to make it 2-0 and move closer to its first PBA All-Filipino title in 13 years when it takes on a Talk N Text team that could be playing without ace gunner Ray Parks in Game 2 of the 2020 PBA Philippine Cup at the Angeles University Foundation (AUF) Sports Center in Pampanga.
Parks remains a doubtful starter in today’s pivotal 6 p.m. encounter due to a left calf strain — a development that could make or break the best-of-seven series pitting the top two teams in the NBA-inspired PBA bubble.
The Gin Kings drew first blood with a thrilling 100-94 overtime win over the Tropang Giga last Sunday and now needs only three more victories to crown themselves as the champions in the coronavirus-interrupted season.
Ginebra coach Tim Cone, however, remains cautious as ever.
“This is just the first game. There’s going to be a lot of back and forth in terms of everything — scoring, adjustments– and seeing how fresh people can stay through this rigorous, really rigorous, seven-game series,” said Cone, who is hoping to win his first All-Filipino title with Ginebra and fourth overall since joining the team in 2015.
“No one person is going to beat Talk N Text. It’s gotta be as a team. Everybody should step up and play exactly the way we did tonight (Sunday) against that team,” added Cone,who will again rely on Stanley Pringle, Japeth Aguilar, Scottie Thompson and LA Tenorio.
The Gin Kings are also expected to take advantage of the possible absence of Parks, who led the Tropang Giga with 20 points, five steals, four rebounds and four assists before fouling out late in the game.
Talk N Text coach Bong Ravena said Parks aggravated the injury he suffered early in the bubble conference and will not be able to play in Game 2.
“Ray has a left calf strain and is highly doubtful to play in Game 2 on Wednesday,” said Ravena.
“But we are hoping he could play on Friday,” added Ravena.
The 27-year-old son of former seven-time PBA Best Import awardee Bobby Parks, has emerged as the Tropang Giga’s chief gunner.
Parks also now leads the race for the PBA “Best Player of the Conference”, ahead of Phoenix Super LPG superstars Calvin Abueva and Matthew Wright.
Without Parks,Talk N Txt will now have to rely a lot of veterans Jayson Castro, Roger Pogoy, JP Erram and Troy Rosario.
Ravena also said the Tropang Giga failed to execute their defensive plan and allowed five Gin Kings to score in double figures.
“The whole game we’ve been struggling especially on our defense,” said Ravena, noting the Tropang Giga were completely outrebounded by the Gin Kings, 41-60.
“We really have to stick to the game plan, especially on defense and do the little things like boxing out,” added Ravena.
“Hopefully it will be a different ball game on Wednesday.”
(AUF Sports Center)
6 p.m. — Barangay Ginebra vs. Talk N Text