EVERGREEN Jeff Chan turned back the hands of time and provided much-needed clutch shooting in Barangay Ginebra’s all-important 104-93 win over Rain or Shine at the end of its elimination-round campaign in the PBA Governors Cup.
Chan finished with 15 points including eight in the fourth period when the Kings rallied then pulled away from a gritty Elasto Painters side behind a telling 15-0 run to post their sixth win in 11 outings - enough for a seat in the quarterfinals.
The 39-year-old wingman went 4-of-7 from three-point range and 5-of-8 overall in a performance that rekindled memories of his big games that made him one of the best shooters the league ever had.
Chan said he was just taking advantage of the playing opportunity given him by coach Tim Cone especially with the defending champions saddled by injuries to some of their key players.
Chan turns back clock
“Once given the chance, bibigay ko naman yung best ko,” stressed the shooting guard out of Far Eastern University.
With youngsters Arvin Tolentino and Sidney Onwubere still continuing to learn the ropes, Cone said the Kings needed to turn on to someone with enough experience especially in a game the Kings cannot afford to lose.
“So we go to the veteran. What, 39, 38, 39-year-old veteran. And he stepped up,” said the Ginebra coach.
But while Chan came through with his individual plays for the Kings, he also stressed it was more of a team effort on the part of the reigning champions.
“Not only me naman, kailangan collective effort. Hindi naman one player lang from the bench,” he said.
“As long as lahat kami maka-contribute, small man yan sa points, pero yung good in defense? Malaking tulong yun sa amin,” added Chan. “So yun ang kailangan namin, total team effort.”
His good shooting night, plus the fact that Barangay Ginebra was pushed to the limit by an also-ran Rain or Shine side, should be a good warm-up for them heading to the playoffs, according to Chan.
“Mas maganda yun actually for us going into the playoffs na kailangan namin mag-grind and grind,” he said. “Plus kailangan talaga naming manalo. Yun good preparation for us going into the playoffs.”
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