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Help is on the way

Ginebra turns to old hand Brownlee, new gun Chan for playoff boost;GlobalPort hopes high morale will carry it past slumping Phoenix
By: - Reporter / @junavINQ
/ 05:04 AM June 20, 2018

With its playoff presence on the line, Barangay Ginebra appears to have restored its winning chemistry with Justin Brownlee.

The Gin Kings are again counting on that Brownlee partnership in another must-win status against the Columbian Dyip’s steely resolve to stay alive for a quarterfinal seat in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup.

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“We’re getting a little more comfortable with Justin Brownlee,” said Ginebra coach Tim Cone after back-to-back victories over NLEX in a road game and Magnolia that gave them a third win in eight games.

And with the Kings making a final playoff push, they got another boost with Jeff Chan expected to join the team in their game against the Dyip Wednesday night at 7 at Smart Araneta Coliseum.

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Cone has gone on record to say the Kings have long sought Chan’s services and the former Phoenix gunner repaid the compliment by admitting he is excited to learn more from the league’s winningest coach.

“I want to help them in any way possible,” said Chan, who was acquired by the Gin Kings on Monday in a trade with the Phoenix Fuel Masters in exchange for the rights to Ginebra’s first round pick in the 2018 Draft. “Hopefully, we’ll have a good run in our last three games.

“I’m looking forward to playing under coach Tim. He’s one of the greatest coaches here. I just wanna learn from him,” he said.

But the Kings face long odds in their playoff bid, needing to sweep their remaining assignments against the Alaska Aces and the GlobalPort Batang Pier after this one for a trouble-free seeding in the quarterfinals.

“We’re still in the same situation. We have no margin for error. But if we find a way to win out our three tough games, we could make the top six,” said Cone.

GlobalPort (4-4) will be on the same footing with Columbian and Ginebra as the Batang Pier attempt to win all their remaining games starting with the Fuel Masters (3-6) in the other game.

The Batang Pier pulled off a surprise at San Miguel Beer’s expense, a confidence-builder they will employ against the Fuel Masters, who lost four in a row, including a 108-106 defeat to Rain or Shine where they led most of the way.

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“The morale of the team is still high and we always play with pride,” said Phoenix alternate governor Atty. Raymond Zorrilla.

Faced with a more formidable foe, the Dyip will ride on their impressive win over the Fuel Masters to stay in the hunt for their first playoff appearance in two years.

“Jeff’s addition gives Ginebra more firepower, but we will be ready for him,” said Columbian coach Ricky Dandan.

The Kings are half a game behind the Dyip and the Magnolia Hotshots, who share identical 4-5 records.

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TAGS: Barangay Ginebra, Basketball, Jeff Chan, PBA Commissioner’s Cup
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