(Ynares Center Antipolo)
3 p.m. — Blackater vs Magnolia
5:45 p.m. — Ginebra vs Terrafirma
BARANGAY Ginebra has embraced coach Tim Cone’s new mantra — keep on truckin’ — fully in tackling a killer schedule in the PBA Governors’ Cup.
With admirable resilience, the Gin Kings battled through a grueling slate of three matches over five days last week and came out unscathed en route to 7-2 overall and a legit shot at the coveted quarterfinal incentives for the Top 4 seeds.
Today, Mr. Cone’s indefatigable troops need to continue the hard labor for a fifth straight game against ousted Terrafirma (2-6) and be rewarded with the sought-for twice-to-beat bonus.
“They can smell the blood in the water. I think they’re ready to go, get that Top 4,” Mr. Cone said ahead of the 5:45 p.m. tiff at the Ynares Center in Antipolo.
Resuming their campaign last Wednesday following the Gilas Pilipinas stints of Mr. Cone, Justin Brownlee, Jamie Malonzo and Scottie Thompson, the Gin Kings hurdled Meralco (112-107), Phoenix (109-89) and Converge (120-101) one after the other two days apart.
“It’s been really crazy for us and the fact that these guys keep finding a way to reach deep, it’s just amazing,” said Mr. Cone.
“The guys have responded well and just battle. We just keep on truckin’ no matter what’s going on and keep moving forward. I think it’s the championship character they’ve developed last conference and they’re trying to bring it again to this conference.”
Mr. Cone doesn’t expect a breeze, though, against a skidding Dyip side that gave Magnolia hell before yielding in overtime, 115-121.
“We’re well aware of that. And they’ve battled us. (Dyip gunner) Juami Tiongson comes out and always kills us in all of our games; he’s had a couple of career highs against us. And their import (Jordan Williams) is very capable of playing a huge game.
“But this is the first time we have a couple of days to prepare for our next game and I think the guys are going to be ready,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Hotshots (6-4) look to reach seven wins and fan hopes for a Top 4 finish in the 3 p.m. curtain raiser against Blackwater (1-9). — Olmin Leyba