Ginebra prepares to play big without ‘never say die’ cheers
MANILA, Philippines — The absence of fans during games can’t be overstated enough if and when the PBA resumes its season amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The crowd is a significant element in live sports, and for players to perform without a single fan in attendance is a major difference to what they’re accustomed to.
And the fan aspect couldn’t be more crucial to Barangay Ginebra, which is by far the most popular franchise in the league.
“Hopefully, they’ll play it over the loudspeakers,” Gin Kings head coach Tim Cone said with a smile before cheering “Gi-ne-bra” during an episode of The Chasedown last Saturday.
“Without a doubt [it’s not going to be the same]. It’s gonna be more difficult without the fans. The fans are such a huge part of the game and you can’t discount them at all especially Ginebra fans. It’s going to be a big adjustment for us,” he added.
Fans not only show their all-out support, but they also provide much-needed energy which players feed off from especially in critical stages of the game.
“We’re gonna have to realize that there are certain things that that we’re not gonna be able to do or rely on without the fans there,” Cone said.
“We’re gonna have to learn to kick ourselves into gear and not rely on the fans to get us into the gear. Play big moments without the fans. Those things are gonna be a part of it. Things that we would discuss if we get back together and go.”
While Cone surely prefers having the die-hard Ginebra fans around during games, he doesn’t think that performing behind closed-doors would affect how hard his team will play.
“And again just like the NBA, our guys will play hard. They’re professionals. they know and love the game and I don’t think that’s gonna be an issue in terms of our guys playing hard. It’s just that extra boost that you get from the fans that’s so valuable.”
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