PBA: Ginebra, Meralco brace for grind out series in their fourth finals meeting
MANILA, Philippines–A race-to-four duel where neither side willing to budge an inch. That’s pretty much how Barangay Ginebra and Meralco framed their 2021 PBA Governors’ Cup championship series set to unfurl this Wednesday at Smart Araneta Coliseum.
The contest will be steeped in familiarity as both clubs have been at it for four times in the last five stagings of this tournament.
Tim Cone and his charges has been on the rosy end of this one-sided affair, but the seasoned mentor quashed any thought that the Gin Kings may have gotten so used to all the winning.
“Winning never gets old. Losing gets old in a real hurry, but winning never gets old,” Cone said in the kick-off presser at Novotel in Cubao, Quezon City.
His counterpart, Norman Black, sounded just as eager. And understandably so, as the Bolts are looking to break finally tab a breakthrough victory.
“I always think I can win,” he said. “I always think my team can win whenever we enter the court. That’s our attitude entering the first game, actually the entire series.
Meralco is coming into the contest a slightly different squad from their first meeting back in 2016, bringing in a slew of new faces for the job, namely playmaker Chris Banchero and Panamanian import Tony Bishop Jr.
The crowd darlings, who are also shooting for a successful title-retention bid, will also feature some new members. The Gin Kings now have Christian Standhardinger and former Bolt Nard Pinto in their employ.
And just as it was before, health is again going to have a hand in this series. Meralco, who lost Raymond Almazan early into the 2019 clash, is still expecting Banchero (assortment of injuries) to suit up in the opener. Ginebra will be missing spitfire guard Stanley Pringle, but are expecting to have Japeth Aguilar at one point in the race.
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