The Philippine Star
‘SERIES CAN TURN ON A DIME’
Game today (AUF Sports Arena Powered by Smart 5G) 6 p.m. – TNT Tropang Giga vs Barangay Ginebra (Ginebra leads series, 2-0)
Barangay Ginebra may already be at the halfway mark and rival TNT is stuck at the starting block, but for coach Tim Cone, the race is far from over.
Especially against an opponent who can explode any moment and pick up steam in the best-of-seven chase for the coveted PBA Philippine Cup crown.
“Two-zero lead means nothing with a team like TNT,” Cone cautioned as the Gin Kings seek to go on the hill today in Game 3 at the AUF Sports Arena Powered by Smart 5G.
Cone conceded the Tropang Giga have actually played better despite yielding the first two games to his no-quit charges, 100-94 (overtime) and 92-90.
“We were a little bit lucky in Games 1 and 2. How can we be comfortable at this point knowing they dominated us for two games, and we only managed to win?” he said.
The Gin Kings barely survived the first two outings. They needed to tie it in the dying seconds of regulation and outplay TNT in five extra minutes in the opener, and they had to claw back from 15 points down before taking the second.
“The games could have gone either way. That means this series can turn on a dime,” said Cone.
Embattled TNT looks to pick itself up in the mustwin setto set 6 p.m. – whether or not ace sophomore Ray Parks Jr., who is nursing a strained calf muscle, can return to action.
“If you want to be great you have to face frustration and adversity, fight it out and do it right,” mentor Bong Ravena challenged his wards.
Parks, who sat it out in Wednesday’s loss, is a game-time decision. “Hopefully he can play on Friday, “said Ravena.
But even with Parks sidelined, the Tropang Giga proved to be a tough customer for the Gin Kings.
“Despite Parks’ absence, we’re still there and we even had the lead. It’s just a matter of finishing strong and playing smarter,” said Ravena, who drew a 38-point performance from RR Pogoy sans Parks.
Cone hopes to get a finals-worthy performance from the Gin Kings after barely winning the initial encounters.
“We have to find the best of ourselves to win more games in this series. Otherwise the tide could turn very quickly,” said Cone.