THE Game Two thriller in the PBA Philippine Cup finals between Ginebra and San Miguel turned the Quezon Convention Center into a virtual grind house, as the Kings and the Beermen put up a 53-minute classic that ended up in a series-tying 124-118 overtime victory for Ginebra.
The roaring Lucena crowd got their money’s worth with highlight reel worthy dunks, amazing offensive outbursts, to a game-tying buzzer-beater on Sunday. The only thing that was missing in the game for the Ginebra fans? Mark Caguioa and JJ Helterbrand.
The two faces of the Ginebra franchise both got DNPs in the thriller, but if there's any consolation for Ginebra fans - the two could play major roles when the PBA finals swing back to the Smart Araneta Coliseum for Game Three on Wednesday.
"I expect two very tired teams to play, and both teams are going to have to reach deep into their benches. We didn't get Jay and Mark in the game, but that's great because they're gonna be fresh in Game 3," Cone said.
"Jay and Mark are definitely playing in Game 3. So that's one of the advantages of not playing them tonight, we'll have them fresh," he added.
The two former PBA MVPs may not be as lethal as they once were when they dominated the league a decade ago, but they are still proven game changers.
The duo most popularly known as ‘the Fast and the Furious’ played a huge part in Ginebra's Game Four win over Meralco in the Governor's Cup, which turned the tide to Ginebra's favor for good.
Though it didn't result into a win, Caguioa and Helterbrand also sparked a foiled Ginebra comeback in Game 5 of the Semis against Star—proving that when needed, they can definitely still deliver.
Caguioa was actually one of the few bright spots for Ginebra in their 109-82 loss in Game One with 12 points in nearly 20 minutes of action, while Helterbrand was held scoreless in 14 minutes of action.
With the pair well rested after an emotionally charged out-of-town match, Cone is all smiles that he has Caguioa and Helterbrand to turn to with the physically draining road trip.
"That's gonna be real key - energy levels. Coming from out of town, coming from a hot gym, then having a bus ride down, a bus ride up, staying in a hotel away from our beds. It's a lot harder than people think," Cone continued.
"This has not been a smooth out of town trip, it's been tough. But we're happy to be on the winning side of it. At least we'll be able to take that home with us."