Ginebra determined to pounce on ‘unexpected reprieve’ in playoff game
MANILA, Philippines—The Barangay Ginebra Gin Kings are set on making good of their final shot to continue their title defense as they face Phoenix in a knockout game for the last remaining playoff spot.
Their campaign in the much-delayed 2021 PBA Philippine Cup has taken twists and turns that can be described as either cruel or fateful.
The Gin Kings ended the eliminations at 4-7, a poor record for a defending champion, but they somehow found a way to stay alive after NorthPort defeated Alaska in the final game of the eliminations.
“We’ve been given an unexpected reprieve so we want to do our best and take advantage of it,” said Ginebra coach Tim Cone as per PBA.ph.
“The guys know the road is tough and has been tough but it starts with one step. That step starts tomorrow with our game against Phoenix.”
If the Gin Kings don’t advance, it will be the first time in 21 years that a defending Philippine Cup champion fails to enter the playoffs.
The last Philippine Cup champion to not make it to the subsequent year’s playoffs was Shell in 2000.
Interestingly, Ginebra and Phoenix were the top two seeds during last year’s bubble after finishing with an idential 8-3 card. The Gin Kings took the no.1 spot by virtue of their win over the latter.
The Fuel Masters were eventually booted out in the semifinals with TNT moving on to face Ginebra in the finals.
“The no.8 spot won’t be given to us, we have to earn it,” said Phoenix head coach Topex Robinson.
The eighth place playoff is on Saturday at DHVSU Gym at 4:35 pm.