FOR Tim Cone, Barangay Ginebra's final elimination round campaign in the PBA Philippine Cup against Rain or Shine is a do-or-die encounter.
While very much in the running for a playoff berth, the Kings are aware of the complications should they lose to the Elasto Painters in their 7 p.m. battle at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
At an even 5-5 record, the Kings are currently tied for sixth to seventh spot with GlobalPort, but a setback could mean an outright playoff against either Blackwater or TnT for the eighth and last berth in the quarterfinals.
A win, though, would send the league’s most popular ballclub outright into the next round.
“In our mind, this is a do-or-die game. I can’t see us winning a knockout game for eighth and then beating SMB (top seed) with a twice-to-beat advantage,” said Cone on Thursday. “Won’t happen, so we have to get this one.”
Ginebra found itself in a precarious situation following a sorry 84-82 loss to Meralco last Feb. 18 at the Philippine Arena in a rematch of last year’s Governors Cup Finals.
The Kings had the benefit of an almost two-week rest going to their game against the Elasto Painters, who in turn, will be playing their third game in a week’s span.
At 6-4, Rain or Shine is also looking for a win to solidify its bid for a best-of-three series in the quarterfinals.
What Cone likes about the Kings’ situation however, is that they have control of their destiny.
“Despite all our uneven plays this conference, we still control our own destiny in terms of finishing in the top six,” said the champion mentor.
“We’ll see if we can put one good game together.”