Kings, Painters shoot for clinchers
Despite the way Barangay Ginebra ground out a win on Saturday night, Tim Cone, who has been around long enough for one to believe what he’s talking about, is far from being convinced that his Gin Kings have this one in the bag.
“It really feels like a loss more than a win,” he said, after an 85-79 triumph over a hard-fighting Magnolia crew that moved his Gin Kings within another win of a slot in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup.
“We’re not ready to celebrate anything at this point,” added Cone. “We know how good they are. We know we have to play better.”
The potential clincher is set at 4:30 p.m. at Smart Araneta Coliseum, before Rain or Shine also tries to put Blackwater away in their own Game 2.
Rey Nambatac bailed the Painters out in Game 1 by hitting the marginal triple in an 83-80 win.
Cone noticed how the Magnolia defense made them play so bad in several stretches of the series opener, and this is what he is most worried about.
The Hotshots remain unfazed. After all, they also lost the first game of their Philippine Cup semifinals against the Gin Kings before winning the last two to wrap up the series.
Magnolia’s Chito Victolero just wants to do one thing, and that is to be able to play defense the way they did Saturday night to have a chance.
“It all boiled down to the breaks of the game,” he said of the loss. “[But] that’s what we wanted: a close game so we have a chance in the end.”
“Overall we played very well—especially on defense,” he added. “They just executed [better] in the last two minutes.”