Last Friday, the Barangay Ginebra started defending its crown against the Columbian Dyip and it was not an easy battle for the Gin Kings.
The Alaska Aces’ three-game winning streak is not a joke and playing slummpy is a no-no if Ginebra wanted to build their own successive victories.
“Many sees we’re lucky to pull that one out,” said Ginebra head coach Tim Cone after defeating the Dyip 96-84 two nights ago. “We got to play a heck of a lot better against the league leader on Sunday,” he added.
The 60-year-old winningest coach in the PBA is not happy the way his team control the boards and the pile of turnovers they made in their last timeout. Turning the ball over is one of the main areas where Ginebra below satisfactory as they scored 24 against 13 committed by Columbian.
Alaska is not only known of its back-court press but also in their discipline executing both their offensive and defensive formations.
“We’ll see how much energy we have on Sunday against Alaska. That’s going to be a big question mark for us,” said Cone.
One of the top contenders this third conference was already clipped by Alaska and that was the 2016 and the 2017 third conference runner-up, the Meralco Bolts. Few days ago, they also defeated the new look and their former player Calvin Abueva of the Phoenix Fuel Masters.
2010 number one overall pick Noy Baclao was impressive against the Fuel Masters as he made 75 percent shooting from the field and perfect from the free-throw line. Baclao scored 15 points, seven rebounds and two blocks in that game.
Currently, Alaska is the leader of the pack in the standing with their 3-0 slate.
Meanwhile, the Gin Kings are still yet to find its groove this conference after some show of offensive struggle against the 0-4 Columbian Dyip.
The veteran head coach is pointing that the main reason why his squad still have some rust is might be their championship hangover.
“Emotionally, that’s always a big battle, coming off a championship,” said Cone who won a grand slam with Alaska back in the 90’s. “It’s a coaches’ nightmare,” he added.
“Our team needs challenges. And I think we’ll get up for it in Alaska because they are league leading and we’ll be ready and prepared.”