A 2-0 lead in a best-of-seven championship series could already be a good psychological advantage, but Barangay Ginebra coach Tim Cone insists the job is only halfway done.
Although they need only two more wins to wrap up the title in the coronavirus-interrupted season, Cone said Talk N Text remains a dangerous opponent who could easily turn the tables around.
“I know I sound like a broken record, but again, we’re thankful for the win (Sunday), but we’re not happy. We have to find the best of ourselves to continue to win games in this series,” said Cone on the even of Friday’s pivotal Game 3 of the 2020 PBA Philippine Cup at the Angeles University Foundation (AUF) Sports Arena in Pampanga.
“(RR) Pogoy was just outstanding in the game, and Talk N Text dominated us for most of the game. We were outcoached and outhustled for the most part. But I don’t want to take anything away from our guys who persevered and found a way to win,” added Cone, referring to the Gin Kings’ come-from-behind triumph over the Ray Parks-less Tropang Giga.
Cone now hopes to get the same — if not better — efforts from the Gin Kings when they square off anew with the Tropang Giga starting at 6 p.m. today.
Another victory by the Gin Kings will put them even closer to their first All-Filipino championship in 13 years.
A win, however, by the Tropang Giga will cut the deficit to 1-2 and turn the series a lot closer.
“A very tough loss (for us). Nandoon naman na ang lahat, pati effort and play hard. Pero kulang pa din sa diskarte. We were just outsmarted by Ginebra,” said Talk N Text coach Bong Ravena when asked to describe the setback.
“Right now, mababa ang morale ng mga players. But it’s up to us (coaches) to motivate them. Kailangang malagpasan ‘yung adversity if you want to win.”
Although they played without Parks, the Tropang Giga actually dominated the game and led the Gin Kings by as many as 15 points at 54-39 midway in the third quarter behind the all-around brilliance of Roger Pogoy.
It was at this moment that Ginebra’s championship experience came through.
Stanley Pringle and Aljon Mariano led Ginebra’s charge and Scottie Thompson delivered a dagger three — his only points for the night — to put the Gin Kings ahead, 87-85.
Pringle finished with 34 points, six rebounds, and eight assists, while Mariano added 20 points and nine rebounds for Ginebra, which survived a bad shooting night by LA Tenorio.
Tenorio, however, scored all of his five points in the final 18 seconds.
(AUF Sports Center)
6 p.m. — Talk N Text vs. Ginebra