GAB Banal simply refused to let Go for Gold down in Game Two.
After Go for Gold squandered a 15-point lead in Game One of the PBA D-League Foundation Cup Finals against Che'Lu Bar and Grill, 96-100, Banal took no chances in Game Two as he scored 33 points on a fiery 7-of-8 clip from three-point range.
For good measure, Banal added six rebounds and four assists and provided the leadership down the stretch as Go for Gold completed a 105-81 victory to even the best-of-seven championship series at 1-all.
“Actually every timeout, nung halftime, end of the third quarter and end of the fourth quarter, I reminded the guys we were up last game and then we collapsed,” the 6-foot-3 winger said.
“We weren't thinking about that (Game One loss), focused na kami, we started to take care of the ball, kumbaga it’s possession by possession. We can’t afford to have turnovers like in Game One. And thats what we did.”
Banal also wasn't surprised that the Scratchers nailed 15 three pointers on an impressive 51.7-percent shooting under the free-flowing offense of coach Charles Tiu.
“Simula't sapul, entering the season, Charles wanted to form a three-point shooting team, an offensive team,” Banal said. “To be honest with you, we don’t really practice our defense, so our defense is our offense. We just made shots, we made open shots. That’s our weapon. That’s the identity of the team.”
Going to Game 3 on Thursday, Banal, who averaged 15.0 points, 8.8 rebounds, 3.8 assists, 1.9 steals, and 1.1 blocks in the eliminations, admitted he is hoping to win both the championship and a first-ever MVP award.
“Come what may. I'm just trying to help my team win. Siyempre gusto ko rin ‘yung MVP, it will be my first,” he said, sharing a laugh with reporters.