BARANGAY Ginebra is down but not out.
The reigning two-time champions are on the ropes following a 101-97 loss to Magnolia on Monday in Game Two on Monday night, with the Hotshots now just a win away from sweeping their PBA Governors Cup semifinal series.
Ginebra coach Tim Cone was ejected in the game early in the fourth quarter for two technical fouls, but made his presence felt with some a grim challenge to his players in the postgame huddle inside the dugout.
“Sabi lang niya, 'We can have a pity party, feel sorry for ourselves, or we can get back up,' and then see what things we need to do to get back in this series,” Ginebra assistant coach Richard del Rosario quoted Cone as saying.
Justin Brownlee has also vowed to give his all in must-win Game Three set on Wednesday at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
“Just a do-or-die mentality,” Brownlee said. “Just come out with everything we’ve got in order to win. Magnolia is an incredible team. They showed that. We just have to figure it out. I’m sure coach Tim will have a lot of things to discuss. We have to try to listen to him and and just try to take everything from him and try to apply it to the game.”
Del Rosario, however, said a lot of work is still to be done for Ginebra especially on the defensive end.
“Start pa lang ng game, we kinda lost our discipline,” said Del Rosario. “Hindi namin ma-execute ‘yung mga defensive game plan. I think that’s the main thing that we need to fix. We have to bring back our discipline especially in our defensive game plan.
Del Rosario also said Ginebra has yet to adjust to Magnolia’s pressure defense, which he said is the biggest reason for the Hotshots’ success.
“’Yung pressure nila has been affecting us for two straight games already but they are not the first team to pressure us. We already know supposedly how to react. This time, we are not responding well,” said del Rosario.
A defiant Del Rosario has warned against counting Ginebra out.
“Tapos na ‘yun, over and done with. The focus is on Game Three. We are going to be ready for Game Three. We still have a chance. It is only one game. We still have a chance at winning that game. We still like our chances,” said del Rosario.