SMART CLARK GIGA CITY – Ray Parks or no Ray Parks, Barangay Ginebra won’t fall into the trap of underestimating TnT Tropang Giga in Wednesday’s Game 2 of the PBA Philippine Cup Finals.
Cone has been to so many tough battles like this one that he knows their opponents remain as dangerous as ever even in the absence of their top scorer.
“The fact that Parks is doubtful to play does not change our mindset or preparation,” said Cone after the Kings went through a light practice at the Angeles University Foundation gym on Tuesday.
“We will continue to assume he will play.”
Parks was good for 20 points in the series opener on Sunday which the Tropang Giga lost in overtime, 94-100. He played for 46 minutes and aggravated a left calf strain which forced him to sit out TNT's first game in the bubble season.
The missed free throw by the sophomore guard could have clinched the victory for TnT right away in regulation, a sequence that wasn’t lost on Cone.
“Game 1 was separated by one free throw, so although we’re thankful for the win, we’re not happy,” said the Ginebra mentor.
Parks split his foul shots with 12 seconds to go in regulation that gave the Tropang Giga a 92-90 lead, before rookie Arvin Tolentino scored on a driving lay-up in Ginebra’s final play to send the game into overtime.
The Kings then held the usually explosive Tropang Giga to just two points in the extra period to take the series lead, 1-0.
For the top-seeded team to repeat, Cone said the Kings will have to play better than in Game 1.
“We know we’re going to have to play a better, a much tighter game if we’re to have success in this series,” he said.