By JONAS TERRADO
Barangay Ginebra San Miguel aims to lay down the hammer on Meralco once again and capture a fourth PBA Governors’ Cup title in the last five editions in Game 6 of their finals series Wednesday night (April 20) at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Following back-to-back wins that put them on the cusp of glory, the Gin Kings hope to cap off what has been a rollercoaster season with another championship in front of an expected big crowd that is expected to fill the Big Dome to the rafters.
Ginebra took the driver seat for the first time in the best-of-seven affair last Sunday, leaning on its hot shooting and poise amid a Meralco uprising in the fourth quarter to take a 115-110 win.
Justin Brownlee, Scottie Thompson and Christian Standhardinger played primary roles in the win that saw Ginebra close in on breaking its tie with Crispa and move into second all-time alongside Alaska and Magnolia Pambansang Manok with 14.
But coach Tim Cone, eyeing a sixth championship with Ginebra and a record-extending 24th, believes getting that one win to win it all will pose a difficult challenge for him and the rest of the team.
“The danger is that you’re always starting to think about the result of the game, what’s gonna happen after the game rather than staying in the moment before the game,” he said.
“You start thinking about being a champion and what you’re gonna do and go to that, and it’s hard not to think that way when you get this close. So you really have to battle yourself and think about what’s the process of going up to that game and what you’re gonna do.
“It’s so easy to look beyond, it really is. So we don’t think about one game to go, we just think about what’s the process we need to get that next win,” he added.
Meralco, which nearly erased a 14-point deficit in the fourth before succumbing to a series of key Ginebra baskets in the final minutes, believes its chances of finally getting that first-ever crown are still doable.
“It takes four wins to win the championship,” said Meralco coach Norman Black. “They’ve only won three games. Obviously, I’m not giving up, my players aren’t giving up. We still have a chance at tying the series.”
Aaron Black, Chris Newsome and import Tony Bishop will look to find ways in trying to force a decider on Friday at the Mall of Asia Arena.