The Barangay Ginebra San Miguel is scheduled for a Game 3 Finals match against the Meralco Bolts at 6:30 P.M. on January 12, 2020 live from the Smart Araneta Coliseum in Cubao, Quezon City.
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The Bolts surprised the Gin Kings as well as their mammoth supporters in Lucena, Quezon last Friday with their spectacular outside shooting show. Meralco was successful in making a bounce-back and the 2019 PBA Governors Cup Finals is now reduced to best-of-five.
Prior to the start of Game 2, Meralco’s head coach Norman Black was concerned not only what the Ginebra can bring into the game but also the sixth man of the Gin Kings which is their fans.
Apart from that, it seems that the Quezon Convention Center was not that friendly to his squad as each time they played in that arena they hardly come-up with the win.
Yet, coach Black broke that trend and most importantly they have avoided the 0-2 series score.
“I don’t think I’ve ever won in Lucena. I know I lost to Magnolia recently and lost to Ginebra recently also. So it’s nice to get a win (in Lucena). It’s almost a little bit scary considering that I’ve never won in Lucena City,” said Black. “It’s a huge win for us. It’s the only reason we came to Lucena. Just try to tie this series up. We didn’t want to go back to Manila 0-2,” he added.
One of the areas where Meralco did great was their shooting from three-point land. Their 16 made three-points are actually their franchise record in the PBA Finals.
Also, the Bolts were able to make the right adjustment to counter Ginebra’s box-and-one defense which was mostly concentrated towards their import, Allen Durham.
“They pulled a box-and-one (in Game 2) and we want to do a better job against it on Sunday,” said Black.
“I thought we actually did a pretty good job against it in the second half once we realized they were in a box-and-one, we’re able to do a better job at it. But at the same time, it changed the momentum. Now we want to be more prepared (against it) next game,” said Black.
Barangay Ginebra is also known as team “Never-Say-Die” because of their several successful comebacks in their history in the league.
The Gin Kings almost erased the 19-point advantage of Meralco and was in the cusp of turning the complexion in their favor, yet a major collapse took place in the last few seconds in the fourth quarter.
Coach Tim Cone squad may have forgotten that the time was ticking and failed to make an intentional foul to an inbound receiver. That could keep their winning chances alive where they could possibly push Game 2 in overtime.
“We battled back which I’m proud of but that’s not going to be enough for this series. Being proud of the guys is not going to win the series for us. We’ve got to do more,” said Cone. “We’re just a poor defensive team (Friday night).”