Gin Kings eye finals vs Katropa


Defending champion Barangay Ginebra San Miguel shoots for its back-to-back Governors’ Cup finals appearances today as it tries to finish off TNT KaTropa in Game 4 of their best-of-five semifinals series in the Philippine Basketball Association Season 42 Governors’ Cup at the Araneta Coliseum.

After a highly emotional Game 3, the Gin Kings try to make a return trip to the finals against Meralco with a win in their 6:30 p.m. encounter against KaTropa.

Ginebra withstood TNT KaTropa’s late rally and held on for a 106-103 win to spoil the 44-point explosion of KaTropa import Glen Rice, Jr.

Multi-titled Ginebra coach Tim Cone, who is gunning for his 20th overall title, said the series is not yet over and TNT is very much capable of tying the series and send it to a winner-take-all Game 5.

“Job is not done yet. There is still a lot of work [to do]. We played our style and we played the way we wanted to play. They played their style and I’m sure it’s going to be the same in Game 4,” explained Cone.

“Despite playing good defense, they still hit tough shots. We have to expect that. Nobody is safe against this team,” he added.

Joe Devance and Greg Slaughter led Ginebra with 20 and 19 points, respectively, in Game 3 marred by verbal confrontation between TNT coach Nash Racela and Ginebra team governor Alfrancis Chua at the hallway going to the break.

Cone said they need to keep their focus entering Game 4.

“We are just going to stay focused on the task at hand, and that is closing this series with a Game 4 win,” Cone said.

In Game 3, TNT gave up 43 free throws to the Gin Kings while KaTropa had only 14 attempts.

Point guard LA Tenorio, who scattered 16 points, nine rebounds and eight assists in Game 3, added that they must not let San Miguel Corporation (SMC) down.

“We are the last chance of SMC, so we have to play with a lot of pride and carry the team to win back-to-back titles,” he said.

Racela said they have to find a way to be more aggressive and force a deciding Game 5.

“We ourselves had a good chance last game by being aggressive attacking the basket. It didn’t go our way. We just have to find ways to win,” he said.

Rice is averaging 30.3 points in three games during the semifinals, and he’s expected to take charge in Game 4.


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