No mark for Kings in game 1

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No mark for Kings in game 1

Post by Ginebra Tambayan on Wed Apr 11, 2012 9:54 am

No mark for Kings in game 1

Written by : Zean Macamay


Game Today: (Ynares Center)

6:45 p.m. – Ginebra vs. B-Meg


WITHOUT Mark Caguioa, Ginebra has a problem.

B-Meg coach Tim Cone knows it, but he doesn’t think the Kings are powerless to fill up the void.

“Losing Mark is going to be huge for them (Kings),” said Cone. “But they’re 14-deep. We have to change our game plan.”

B-Meg begins its best-of-five semifinal series against sister-team Ginebra tonight, its worries significantly lessened by the absence of the Kings’ main gunner but at the same time clueless over who will try to step up in their anticipated blockbuster PBA Commissioner’s Cup series at the Ynares Center.

Caguioa will most likely be out for the remainder of the conference after diagnosis exposed a fracture in his right eye socket causing him to have double blurred vision. The injury occurred during the knockout game between the Kings and the Llamados last March 30 when Caguioa got hit in the eyelid after being entangled with Raffi Reavies.

“His loss is a big factor,” said Ginebra coach Siot Tanquingcen. “He’s a big part of our team.”

The absence of Caguioa doesn’t make Cone relieved at all.

“What happened to Mark Caguioa is incredibly sad. I feel sorry for him. I hope he gets back. I'll be praying for him,” said Cone.

Caguioa’s absence, however, doesn’t clear Cone and B-Meg of troubles. Ginebra has become a deep franchise, and anyone coming right off the bench could explode.

Cone particularly is looking at KG Canaleta, who had more points (25) than his playing time (24 minutes) when Ginebra and B-Meg fought for the second outright Final Four berth. The Kings won that game, 93-84.

“We’ve got to take account of KG,” said Cone.

There’s also a rookie in Dylan Ababou and Rob Labagala, and John Wilson and Billy Mamaril are expected to provide muscle coming off the bench.

“We just have to find a way to make up for the absence of Mark,” said Tanquingcen. “It’s imperative that we maintain out focus defensively.”

Since Ginebra booked the second automatic berth to the Final Four, it hasn’t seen action in 11 days. B-Meg, meantime, had to go through a tough quarter-final series against Meralco in order to arrange a duel with the Kings.

B-Meg triumphed against Meralco, 2-1, coming back from the verge of elimination after losing Game One (103-81) with back-to-back victories capped with a classic 86-76 win over the Bolts in Game Three.

That victory was the kind Cone loves, something that hardens the team’s character.

“This series (quarterfinals) toughened us up,” said Cone. “We want to look at this series in a positive light. It made us tougher, sharper, better. Playing tough games are better than practicing in the gym.”

Simply put, B-Meg would like to ride on the momentum of its quarterfinals’ series win, hoping it could stun the well-rested Ginebra.

But in order to accomplish that, there are basic things B-Meg should do first.

Like Ginebra, defense has always been B-Meg’s strongest point. The Llamados must also draw offense from import Denzel Bowles and well-distributed outputs from the locals.

For Ginebra, import Jackson Vroman is expected to take charge, and Mike Cortez will be the main orchestrator.

This is the first time in 15 years that Ginebra and B-Meg, formerly Purefoods, will clash in a series. The last time that these two ball clubs met in the series was in the 1997 All-Filipino Conference. Ginebra was known then as Gordon’s Gin Boars.

Source: Journal.com.ph
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