The TNT KaTropa face Barangay Ginebra San Miguel today in Game 2 their best-of-five semifinals, as they try move closer toward a finals seat in the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) Season 42 Commissioner’s Cup at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.
The KaTropa hope to duplicate their 100-94 victory in Game 1, in their 7 p.m. encounter as head coach Nash Racela expects the Gin Kings to make the necessary adjustments to tie the series.
“We have to dig deep. I will ask for coach Tim Cone’s past game tapes because I really need to study his strategies and adjustments,” said Racela, who drew 35 points and 13 rebounds from import Joshua Smith in Game 1.
“We’ll also look for our adjustments in the second game,” he added.
Ginebra simply had no answer to Smith particularly in the second half where the burly TNT import unloaded 29 of his total output and did most of his damage in the paint.
Racela also needed a clutch basket from Jayson Castro, who hit a huge triple, to atone for his 1-of-10 shooting in the game.
“We’re hoping Joshua will play the same performance in Game 2 and the performance of locals is going to be crucial,” said Racela, whose team came from a tiring 2-1 quarterfinals series win over sister team Meralco.
But KaTropa did not miss a beat in Game 1 against the well-rested Gin Kings.
“Right now, you can’t really think of the fatigue factor. I want to eliminate that from the minds of my players,” he added. “If we’re thinking about it, I guess we’re not playing here in this series.”
Ginebra is expected to execute its defensive game plan against Smith, the 6-10 Georgetown Hoyas standout – and Japeth Aguilar, Joe Devance, Dave Marcelo and Justin Brownlee need to double their effort to neutralize the TNT import.
Brownlee led Ginebra with 24 points, 14 rebounds and six assists in Game 1.