With TNT up 2-0, Dickel bracing for Ginebra’s best in Game 3
MANILA, Philippines—A 2-0 series lead won’t put TNT in a celebratory mood in its five-game semifinals series against Barangay Ginebra in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup.
KaTropa consultant Mark Dickel was aware that the Gin Kings they beat, 88-71, Sunday at Smart Araneta Coliseum weren’t at their best and that Game 3 against the crowd darlings would be much different.
“I know Ginebra is a proud team, and they didn’t have their best game tonight,” said Dickel. “I know that their best game is coming in Game 3. By no means is there time to celebrate.”
The Gin Kings shot the ball at a 42.5 percent rate, 31-of-73, but what that overall stat concealed was how Ginebra struggled mightily from beyond-the-arc.
Ginebra missed 18 of its 23 attempts from the three-point area while TNT waxed hot from deep going 16-of-44 from rainbow country.
With his team’s defense clicking and shots falling, Dickel said he wasn’t surprised with the outcome of the game.
“Well you’re never surprised because that’s what you plan for the game,” said Dickel. “You plan it going like that, the problem is if the other team sometimes plans it to go the other way.”
“We just have to be aware that they’re [the Gin Kings] are going to come out and play a much better Game 3, and we’re going to have to be better again or we’re going to be on the other side.”
Dickel added it’s not just Ginebra’s players that TNT has to be aware of, there’s also the presence of the league’s most successful head coach in Tim Cone.
Arguably the greatest tactician in PBA history, Cone holds 21 titles under his name, just five short of matching San Miguel Beer’s championship count.
“I know he’s [Cone] going to make adjustments and come ready,” said Dickel. “I mean, he’s the winningest coach over here for a reason. He’s been in this situation before wherein he came back and won.”
“He’ll have some ideas what he’s going to do against us, but we’re going to make adjustments too and come back ready for the next game.”