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Kings suffer humiliatio­n at hands of Dyip, and coaching staff needs to figure out what’s wrong before it’s too late

- By Denison Rey A. Dalupang @sonrdINQ

Barangay Ginebra, a traditiona­l powerhouse and hands-down the Philippine Basketball Associatio­n’s biggest draw, found itself on the nasty end of an embarrassi­ng loss on Sunday night in the Philippine Cup eliminatio­ns at Ninoy Aquino Stadium in Manila.

The crowd darlings fell to perennial league doormat Terrafirma, 91-84, for only the second time in their 23 clashes overall, with the lack of effort on Ginebra’s part being such a letdown early on it made coach Tim Cone practicall­y disinteres­ted with still two quarters left. He then hurriedly left the venue as soon as the game finished.

“Our starts have been very flat for the past two games,” deputy Richard del Rosario told reporters. “As I’ve told the players (in the dugout) when you lose like this—almost in the same manner, where you fall behind, catch up and then fall short—you can hardly pin your problems on one thing.”

It was the second-straight defeat Ginebra absorbed following a 95-92 loss to corporate sibling but fierce rival San Miguel Beer last Friday. The pair of gut punches has pushed Cone and his crew down to 3-3, which puts them currently in a tie with TNT somewhere at the bottom half of the Top 8.

Several things doomed Ginebra that night like Dyip cornerston­e Juami Tiongson and former Gin King Javi Gomez de Liaño who did a lot of damage on the Kings.

Christian Standhardi­nger, who had 21 points in the first three frames, sat out the payoff period—just as the fancied squad was trying to complete a comeback.

And there’s the continued absence of star playmaker Scottie Thompson, who is dealing with an ailing back.

No excuses

Still, Del Rosario is not using those as alibis.

“Christian was scoring, but the guys who we were playing at the time were the ones who made the run, so we stayed with those guys,” he said. “Stanley (Pringle) also didn’t come back. Whenever you get lift from guys off the bench, you have to reward them also, so we stuck with those same guys during that stretch (in the fourth).

“When Scottie’s out, you don’t just make up for points— you [also] make up for rebounds, you make up for assists, you make up for defense ... and we don’t put that pressure on one particular guy,” he went on.

The numbers that night showed Ginebra allowing Terrafirma to shoot 70 percent in the paint. The Kings also fell in fastbreak points (15-10) and bench points (31-28), which was unlikely for a squad with such depth.

And the way to go, according to Del Rosario, is introspect­ion—something that Tropang Giga coach Chot Reyes also reached for on the heels of a 9290 escape from Meralco in the curtain raiser.

“We are no longer the mighty TNT. I think the sooner we accept that, the better it’s going to be for us,” Reyes had said. “We cannot win games on talent or just showing up. We really have to outwork and outhustle every team we play.”

Ginebra next plays Blackwater—another league doormat that is somehow at .500 in the standings. And that alone is a prompt for the Kings to get their acts together swiftly.

“We have to figure things out on how we can address [our problems]— and we need to do that before we play our game this Friday,” Del Rosario said.

 ?? —AUGUST DELA CRUZ ?? Kenmark Carino (left) and the Dyip played a tad higher than Jamie Malonzo and the Kings.
—AUGUST DELA CRUZ Kenmark Carino (left) and the Dyip played a tad higher than Jamie Malonzo and the Kings.

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