The Barangay Ginebra San Miguel is scheduled for a Game 6 Championship round head-to-head match against the Talk ‘N Text TNT Tropang Giga at 5:45 PM on April 21, 2023 live from the Smart Araneta Coliseum at Quezon City, Metro Manila.
For the first time in this championship battle, the Tropang Giga claimed the series advantage with 3-2 and has the golden opportunity to slam the door against their opponent while the Gin Kings hope that their local support will play at their highest level and live for another day as their import is reported to play and not on his 100 percent due to food poisoning.
The Smart Araneta Coliseum will be the stage for the explosive and high-stakes Game 6 of the Governors’ Cup, where the Tropang Giga and the Gin Kings will face off. The Tropang Giga is determined to win the only conference that has eluded them since joining the PBA in 1996. In contrast, the Gin Kings are battling to keep their hold on their besieged kingdom. With clashing goals, the Tropang Giga will be looking to make it three straight wins against Tim Cone’s charges and clinch the series in the 5:45 p.m. encounter.
Jojo Lastimosa, the TNT tactician, who’s on course for a Cinderella finish in his first time at the helm, is not getting ahead of himself. “It will be an accomplishment, I’ll be honored to beat him if I can in this series. But it’s a long series and closeout games are really, really hard,” he said.
In the Philippine Cup finale, the Tropang Giga held a similar 3-2 lead against San Miguel Beer. However, they couldn’t get the job done in Game 6 and eventually lost the decider too. Now they are determined to bring it to the finish line. “We will (win), but they (Ginebra) are still the favorites. Even if we’re up 3-2 hindi kami kampante. We know how hard it is to win over them,” he added.
The Gin Kings’ major concern is Brownlee’s fitness level. The three-time Best Import suffered from food poisoning last Wednesday and missed the last 20 minutes of action in Ginebra’s 104-95 Game 5 loss. “He’s out of the hospital but missed practice (Thursday). We do expect him to play tomorrow (Friday), though we don’t expect him to be 100 percent,” said Cone of Brownlee, who saw action for only 25 minutes and finished with 14.
Ginebra is facing its first 2-3 deficit in the finals under Cone and is hard-pressed to salvage the situation. The most immediate task is, of course, to first tie it at 3-3. “We need to recover and give it our absolute all in the next game and hope that we can get the victory and set a Game 7,” said Best Player of the Conference Christian Standhardinger.
Best Import Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, who had a triple-double in Game 5, is ready to duke it out in the clincher attempt. “It’s about getting the proper rest, taking care of body and knowing what you need to do to get close to 100 percent, then focus on Game 6,” he said. “I feel confident about our ability (to finish the task).”
The Tropang Giga made the most of Brownlee’s early exit, essaying a 104-95 victory for the pivotal 3-2 lead in the race-to-four-games series. With Brownlee gone, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson and his teammates kept their feet on the pedal and didn’t let the opportunity slip away, clinching the crucial win on an 8-0 closing punch. Hollis-Jefferson piled up triple-double numbers with 32 points, 16 rebounds, and 10 assists, Calvin Oftana contributed 20 markers, including four treys plus eight boards, and four other TNT players contributed double-digit output.
With back-to-back wins, coach Jojo Lastimosa and the TNT gang finally grabbed the series upper hand with a chance to win it in Game 6 or in Game 7, if necessary, Sunday. But Lastimosa is aware of the challenge ahead, having been in a similar situation during the Philippine Cup finale, where they held a 3-2 lead against San Miguel Beer, only to lose the decider.
“We know how hard it is to win over them,” Lastimosa said of facing Ginebra in the finals. “They are still the favorites, even if we’re up 3-2. Hindi kami kampante.”
Despite their recent loss, the Gin Kings are still confident that they can come back and force a Game 7. Best Player of the Conference Christian Standhardinger, who did the heavy lifting in Game 5, emphasized the importance of recovering and giving it their all in the next game.
“We need to recover and give it our absolute all in the next game and hope that we can get the victory and set a Game 7,” Standhardinger said.
With everything on the line, fans can expect an explosive and intense game between these two powerhouse teams. As both teams try to achieve their goals and secure the championship, anything can happen.
Will the Tropang Giga finally end their championship drought, or will the Gin Kings live to fight another day and force a Game 7? Only time will tell, but one thing is for sure – this will be a game that fans won’t want to miss.