Defending champion Barangay Ginebra San Miguel braces for a strong bounce-back game from Meralco as it eyes a 2-0 lead in Game 2 of their best-of-seven championship series in the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) Season 42 Governors’ Cup today at the Araneta Coliseum.
After dominating the finals opener, 102-87, in Lucena City on Friday, the Gin Kings expect rampaging Bolts in their 6:30 p.m. encounter.
Prior to Game 2, the league will name the Best Player of the Conference and the Best Import.
Ginebra head coach Tim Cone, who is eyeing his 20th PBA title, said his Gin Kings just had a solid offensive in Game 1 where his wards shot 40-of-87 (46 percent) from the field.
“We played a very solid, if unspectacular, Game 1, but we know we caught Meralco on a cold shooting night. We also know that how we played in Game 1 won’t be good enough to beat them in Game 2,” said Cone.
“There’s a reason they dominated this conference and that has been their great and consistent play. We expect to see more of that tomorrow,” added Cone, who drew 32 points, 19 rebounds and six assists from import Justin Brownlee in Game 1.
Besides Brownlee, Japeth Aguilar (15 points), Greg Slaughter (14), Kevin Ferrer (11) and LA Tenorio (10) also scored in double figures for the Gin Kings in Game 1.
For coach Norman Black, the Bolts need to bring their energy from the get go to score a win in Game 2.
“We did not play very good in Game 1, so it is important that we fix our mistakes and play better on offense and defense in our next game. Also we must do a better job in the rebounding category to limit their second chance attempts because that was a big factor in Game 1,” Black explained.
“It is a quick turnaround for Game 2 so we must start the game with a higher energy level,” added Black.
Reigning Best Import Allen Durham, a top candidate to win the trophy for the second straight time, is not focusing on the bringing home the plum.
“I’m not worried about winning the best import award. I’m more worried of winning Game 2. We need to rebound and work harder in Game 2. If not, it is going to be ugly as well,” said Durham, who finished with 27 points, 14 rebounds and seven assists in the series opener.