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BY EXERTING extra efforts on both ends of the court, Barangay Ginebra managed to jump the gun on Talk N Text in their PBA Commissioner’s Cup semifinals duel.
The Kings vow to do a lot more when they tangle with the Tropang Texters anew Sunday in Game 2 of the Cebuana Lhuillier-sponsored playoffs at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
“No-tomorrow, patayan na ito,” said Ginebra coach Alfrancis Chua of the match, which comes on the heels of his crew’s 104-81 conquest in the best-of-five opener last Friday.
In league history, only three teams have ever come back from a 0-2 deficit in a race-to-three and TNT coach Norman Black is fully aware of this fact. That explains why he can’t stress enough to his charges the importance of finding ways to rediscover their usual lethal form and not the squad that played flatly two days ago.
“We must play with a sense of urgency now that we’re down 0-1,” said Black. “Matching Ginebra’s energy and intensity on defense will be key.”
Chua expects as much. “Iyung intensity at energy namin sa depensa na ipinakita namin nu’ng Game 1 dapat at least ganoon pa rin. Kailangan ma-stop namin any run they will make and they are sure to come up with one,” he said.
What should make things more difficult for TNT is the absence of guard Jared Dillinger, who figured in a vehicular accident early Saturday morning and will sit out Sunday’s game.
The Texters are already playing minus ailing forward-center Kelly Williams and his absence was clearly felt most in the opener.
In Game 1 Ginebra harassed TNT into going just 29-for-82 from the field, including a paltry 1-for-18 from beyond the arc.
“Three-point shooting has been a strength for us this conference so we have to find a way to get better looks for our shooters,” said Black, whose team averaged a league-leading 33.13 percent from three-point land in the eliminations and almost 39 percent in the quarterfinals.
Jerome Jordan played his best game yet in the playoffs with 21 points and eight rebounds, but only Jayson Castro and Ranidel de Ocampo were the only other Texters in double-digits. Larry Fonacier and Jimmy Alapag combined for only seven points, prompting Black to dispel rumors about the 7-foot Jamaican being up for replacement.
“It’s more than just the import, though,” said Black after a lengthy meeting with his staff following Friday’s game. “It’s more of our energy tonight. We didn’t match their intensity. They outplayed us from the very start of the game.”
Ginebra’s defense stoked its own offense.
The Kings unleashed one run after another to break away as early as the first quarter, take as much as a 100-71 lead before finishing with a 42-for-80 field goal shooting, including 10-for-24 from rainbow territory.
Vernon Macklin won out in his personal duel with Jordan, notching 25 points and nine rebounds while Kerby Raymundo, Chris Ellis, Mac Baracael, Josh Urbiztondo, LA Tenorio and even seldom-used Yousef Taha chipped in their ample share.
“Overall we just need to play better basketball,” stated Black. “The key is to even it up.”
After the match the combatants take a much-needed break for the All-Star Weekend and resume the series with Game 3 on May 8.
That knowledge prompts Chua to remind his charges to let it all hang out in Game 2. “Wala ng mag-ho-hold back, ibigay na lahat,” he said.
“Welcome sa amin ang break dahil kailangan din naming magpahinga. Pero mas magandang magpahinga kung lamang ka ng 2-0,” he added. (NC)
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Let's go ginkings... Go for the 2nd win... mahirap pero tiwala lang... NEVER SAY DIE...
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pag nka 2-0 tayo laking bentahe na un
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