BARANGAY Ginebra is looking at its first PBA All-Filipino title since 2007 and 13th overall since joining Asia’s first play-for-pay league in 1979.
Coach Tim Cone is eyeing a record 23rd PBA championship and fifth since joining the league’s most popular team in 2015.
The Gin Kings and Cone have three chances to wrap up the 2020 PBA Philippine Cup title and achieve added glory when they take on Talk N Text in Game 5 at the Angeles University Foundation (AUF) Sports Center in Pampanga today
After playing what Cone claimed was the best basketball in the NBA-inspired PBA bubble since Oct. 11, the Gin Kings will go for the kill in their 6 p.m. encounter against the Tropang Giga in Game 5.
With a commanding 3-1 lead in the best-of-seven championship series and a big psyhological advantage over a Talk N Text missing its two best players in the bubble, Ginebra vowed to go for all the marbles in the first of three cracks at the prestigious PBA championship played amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The Gin Kings looked unstoppable in last Sunday’s 98-88 win in Game 4 that Cone branded it the “best game of the whole PBA bubble.”
“I really felt we played the best game of the whole bubble,” said Cone, who will turn 63 on Dec. 14.
“This is our best game of the series, by far, and I think the best game of the conference. We hit big shots all night. We made plays, we made defensive plays,” added Cone.
“I hope we can carry it into Wednesday (Game 5),” he added.
Cone, however, said he expects Talk N Text to come out swinging.
“They (Tropang Giga) are going to come out line wounded tigers. It’s an organization with a lot of pride, so closing out this series will be incredibly difficult. We know that. We’ll need to earn it, they certainly won’t give us anything,” said Cone.
Cone vowed to continue to play well despite the uncertainty of the status of Talk N Text gunners Ray Parks and Jayson Castro.
“I don’t know what Jayson’s status is and Bobby Ray’s but they are down a couple of really, really key players. That will be like us losing Scottie (Thompson) and Stanley (Pringle), something like that. And how difficult it would be to win for us without Scottie and Stanley. That’s how I look at it,” Cone.
“We are going to assume that they are both going to play on Wednesday.”
Talk N Text coach Bong Ravena assured that the Tropang Giga would come out fighting with or without their top players.
“Hindi pa naman tapos ang lahat. They still need to win one game to capture the title. So kami, laban lang,” said Ravena.
A Ginebra victory today would also enable the Gin Kings to tie the record of the legendary Crispa Redmanizers with 13 championships overall.
(AUF Sports Center)
6 p.m.– Talk N Text vs. Barangay Ginebra