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BARANGAY Ginebra’s current position in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup is not exactly an enviable one, but coach Alfrancis Chua isn’t complaining.
“Mas maganda na iyung galing sa mga talo and then nagpapanalo kaysa galing panalo tapos napapagtatalo,” reasoned Chua.
The former is precisely what the Kings have been doing of late, winning four of their last five games after dropping their first four under Chua.
Whether Ginebra can extend what its legions of fans are considering a magical ride would be known following the Kings’ rematch with Barako Bull Sunday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Another win by Ginebra would stretch its streak to four, give it a .500 winning percentage for the first time in the conference and maybe even grab at least a share if fourth.
“Hindi ko na kailangan pang sabihin sa mga players ang importance ng game versus Barako,” said Chua.
His team having lost five straight, Barako active consultant Rajko Toroman minced no words about the game’s importance to his side.
“It’s a playoff game for us,” said Toroman. “We desperately need a win.”
Coincidentally, it was a 93-72 win over the Energy Cola last Feb. 27 that kicked off the Kings’ resuscitation.
There’s a probable catch this time, however.
Ginebra spitfire Mark Caguioa may miss the game due to a left knee he injured late in an 84-81 victory over Meralco last Friday.
Tests results show The Spark sustained an MCL sprain, sidelining the top Ginebra gunner for at least a week.
Toroman knows the road to the playoffs is going to be difficult.
“Right now I believe for us to make the quarterfinals will be very difficult but still possible,” he stated.
“It’s all about being consistent,” he added. “We have been playing good even in our losses, but we make some defensive mistakes and (those) cost us games.”
Chua is bracing for the possibility of Caguioa not able to suit up.
“Napakalaking bagay ni Mark, pero kung di siya talaga pwede the others must step up,” he stated.
Against Meralco, Ginebra almost blew a 21-point lead and that should never be allowed to happen against Barako.
“It’s all about defense,” explained Chua. “Sabi ko nga, sarili na kalaban namin dito, when we relax. Our defense must tighten up, especially against Barako na maraming shooters.”
His Kings committed 25 turnovers against the Bolts and that should also not be repeated.
“We have to take care of the ball,” said Chua. “Kung minsan kasi panira na nilalaro pa. Sumosobra ang ball sharing. Layup na ipapasa pa.” (NC)
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