MANILA, Philippines – Although they are currently playing in opposing halves of the PBA Governors’ Cup semifinals, BARANGAY Ginebra and San Miguel Beer do have one thing in common: Wednesday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum, both of them must triumph.
The Gin Kings are close to winning the best-of-five series and advancing to the best-of-seven semifinals after claiming victories in the opening two games of the series.
Coach Tim Cone of the Ginebras has considered the potential of a quick end to the series, but his players shouldn’t focus on it.
The seasoned strategist warned: “I mean, you start hoping for that (sweep), saying you have that type of lead, then you open yourself up to being kampante. And if you do that against a team like this then you’re in huge trouble.”
We won’t talk about anything else but playing one game, so that’s what we’re going to talk about.
The league records certainly don’t appear to be in SMB’s favor. Only four times in their history, out of a total of 26 best-of-five series, did the Beermen lose 0 to 2. They never lost by a score of 3 to 0, but they have never been swept either.
SMB coach Jorge Gallent is desperate to prevent his club from crumbling under the intense pressure and instead looking forward to the league’s return in October.
We can’t think of what will happen in Game 4. We have to win Game 3 and give them the impression that we aren’t done yet. Ginebra needs to win three games to go to the championship.
It is my responsibility to encourage them to win at least one game, which is Game 3.
If Ginebra stays on the course Cone has consistently advocated, then that ought to take some doing. We want to get better and better at what we do and how we do it and we want to do that the entire series.
We were better in Game 2 than we were in Game 1, and that’s always the goal, so hopefully we’re better in Game 3 than we were in Game 2.
With a 44-of-87 field goal percentage and a 39-of-88 field goal percentage against SMB, Ginebra improved on its 121 to 112 triumph in the series opener to win 121 to 103 last Friday. Along with out rebounding their opponents, 54 to 43, the Gin Kings also had 35 to 20 more assists.
Willpower is the deciding factor for Gallent. We have to play with effort, discipline, and patience.”