Streak­ing Barangay Ginebra finds no rea­son to ease up

Business World - - WORLD SPORTS - An­gelo S. Murillo Michael

FIRMLY se­cured in the semi­fi­nals of the Philip­pine Bas­ket­ball As­so­ci­a­tion (PBA) Com­mis­sioner’s Cup and rid­ing a seven-game win­ning streak, one could not be blamed for tak­ing it easy. But not the streak­ing Barangay Ginebra San Miguel Kings, who are now more de­ter­mined to take on the work to go deeper in the tour­na­ment.

Beat­ing the Mer­alco Bolts, 104-90, in Game Two of their be­stof-three quar­ter­fi­nal se­ries, the Kings com­pleted a sweep of their quar­ters as­sign­ment to ad­vance to the next round of the mid­sea­son PBA tour­na­ment while ex­tend­ing their tour­na­ment win­ning streak to seven games.

While happy that they are play­ing ex­tremely well of late, Kings coach Tim Cone said they have to re­main guarded for the win streak is “both a bless­ing and a curse” which could bite them if they do not han­dle it cor­rectly mov­ing for­ward.

“Com­ing into the semi­fi­nals with a seven-game win­ning streak, it’s a bless­ing and it’s a curse at the same time. It’s a bless­ing be­cause you got some mo­men­tum and you are play­ing well. [It’s] a curse be­cause at some point, you’re gonna come off the moun­tain,” the multi-ti­tled PBA coach said dur­ing the postgame press con­fer­ence fol­low­ing their Game Two vic­tory.

Mr. Cone fur­ther un­der­scored that since they are win­ning now, the more it is a must for them to keep on push­ing to stay on top of their game.

“The more you win, you tend to lose fo­cus. When you are los­ing and try to get out of a los­ing streak, that is when you are ra­zor­sharp. When you are win­ning for quite a while, the fo­cus kinda dis­si­pates. I’m hop­ing it doesn’t hap­pen to us. When it does, that’s the time you be­gin to tum­ble off the moun­tain which can be tough to re­cover from,” he said.

In com­plet­ing the sweep of Mer­alco, Barangay Ginebra got an­other solid per­for­mance from im­port Justin Brown­lee, who fin­ished with all- around num­bers of 36 points, nine as­sists, six re­bounds, three steals and a block.

Greg Slaugh­ter had a dou­ble­dou­ble of 14 points and 10 re­bounds while LA Teno­rio had 11 points, in­clud­ing a cru­cial three­p­ointer in the clos­ing min­utes of the game that stopped a spir­ited run back by the Bolts.

As of this writ­ing, the Kings are await­ing the win­ner of the do-or-die match be­tween top seeds Rain or Shine Elasto Painters and eight- seeded team GlobalPort Batang Pier, whom they will face in a best-of­five semi­fi­nal se­ries. —

THE BARANGAY GINEBRA SAN MIGUEL KINGS look to stay in top form now that they are in the semi­fi­nals of the PBA Com­mis­sioner’s Cup.

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