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Ginebra seeks crown jewel
Barangay Ginebra sets out for a royal celebration inside the league’s historic bubble as it guns for the crown jewel today against beleaguered TNT at AUF Sports Arena Powered by Smart 5G.
PBA media bureau

Ginebra seeks crown jewel

Olmin Leyba (The Philippine Star) - December 9, 2020 - 12:00am

SMART CLARK GIGA CITY, Pampanga, Philippines — Is it Coronation Day for the new kings of the PBA Philippine Cup?

Barangay Ginebra sets out for a royal celebration inside the league’s historic bubble as it guns for the crown jewel today against beleaguered TNT at AUF Sports Arena Powered by Smart 5G.

With a commanding 3-1 lead, the Gin Kings are well in position to strike the final blow on the hobbling Tropang Giga in the 6 p.m. encounter and take All-Filipino glory amid the pandemic.

They have momentum on their side coming off a 98-88 rout in Game 4.

They have the edge manpower-wise with stalwarts led by Stanley Pringle and LA Tenorio ready to go while RR Pogoy and Co. try to deal with injuries to key players Ray Parks, Jr. (calf strain) and Jayson Castro (bone spurs).

Still, Gin Kings coach Tim Cone braces for one hell of a challenge from a proud TNT in their closeout bid.

“TNT is going to come out like wounded tigers,” said Cone. “It’s an organization with a lot of pride so closing out this series will be incredibly difficult. We’ll need to earn it. They certainly won’t give us anything.”

The odds are stacked against TNT as it fights for dear life in the series.

Parks, the team’s top gun in the bubble, and Castro, the heart and soul, are doubtful participants in Game 5.

Parks has missed the last three games after hurting his calf in Game 1 while Castro limped out of the fourth game after a 17-minute stint.

“Malabo (uncertain),” TNT coach Bong Ravena said of the their status.

But whether or not Parks and Castro would see action, Ravena’s squad has vowed to fight it out and extend the series to a Game 6.

“(We’re) playing to survive,” said Ravena. “We have to play harder than them.”

Ravena rued how the squad couldn’t keep up with Ginebra the last time. He said this has to change if they want to stay alive.

“We were off, especially in rebounding. Maybe we were tired or what but we’re like a step behind Ginebra. We can’t play that way. We have to want it more than them, play through adversity and give everything on the floor,” he said.

Ginebra has not won the All-Filipino crown since 2007.

GINEBRA TNT
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