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PBA: Ginebra import still optimistic

Barangay Ginebra San Miguel is off to another disappointing start, but import Othyus Jeffers is not losing hope as he remains optimistic the team can recover from the two defeats as long as they stay aggressive on their campaign in the Oppo PBA Commissioner’s Cup.

The popular team fell short on its rally and dropped a painful 85-89 setback to Globalport Batang Pier last Sunday, which came two days after a 112-114 overtime defeat to the NLEX Road Warriors on its opening game.

“Why should we? It’s 11 games,” said Jeffers when asked if it worries him that the Kings are 0-2 so far this conference – similar to the 0-2 start of the squad in the last Philippine Cup.

“We can go 10-2, we can go whatever. But once we’re in the playoffs, it’s zero-zero. We’ll be fine… it’s a long season,” added the 6-5 Jeffers who played for four teams in the NBA.

After back-to-back defeats in the season-opening al-Filipino conference Cup, Ginebra won seven of its last nine games to finish at 7-4 with a twice-to-beat bonus in the first round of the quarterfinal playoffs.

After dispatching the Star Hotshots, the Kings, however, lost to the Batang Pier in a controversial do-or-die playoff game, 83-84.

Jeffers struggled in his second game as he scored just eight points in 4-of-12 shooting from the field while adding 16 rebounds and four assists and a game high five turnovers.

In his first game, the former NBA campaigner came through with double-double effort 31 points and 20 rebounds but was held to only two points in the extra period against NLEX.

One of the reasons in Ginebra’s struggles, according to Jeffers, is the absence of center Greg Slaughter in practice sessions because of measles, which sidelined him for almost three weeks.

After missing the Kings’ opener opposite the Road Warriors, the 7-goot Slaughter was given the green light to play against the Batang Pier but his 20-point and seven-rebound effort was not enough to lead the team to a win.