BARANGAY Ginebra may have lost against the visiting Changwon LG Sakers in their exhibition match on Tuesday night, 81-76, but coach Jeffrey Cariaso chose to stay with the positives.
Runner-up in the Korean Basketball League (KBL) the past season, the Sakers controlled the tempo of the match mainly through their scrambling defense and accurate three-point sniping.
Changwon shooters Kim Young Hwan and Ki Seung Ho stood at the forefront of the Sakers’ offense, making the Kings work a lot on their perimeter defense behind a deadly three-point shooting.
“We said from the beginning that we’re gonna be challenged. And we were,” Cariaso told Spin.ph after the Kings lost for the second time in the preseason during the last five days.
“But I like the way the guys were scrambling (on defense). They’re chasing, and these (Sakers) guys are quick, great shooters and very disciplined.
“So you constantly play against an offense like that, your defense will improve, and I think tonight (Tuesday night), our defense improved.”
Cariaso explained the match against the Koreans was a perfect avenue to 'change the culture' at Ginebra and teach the Gin Kings to play 48 minutes of intense defense.
“It’s rotating quicker, understanding that you got to be constantly involved when it comes to defense because a lot of times, especially, it’s a habit, you like to rest on defense, but with me, I try to change that habit, change that culture,” he said.
“You have to be on point and ready to go on defense every single time,” added Cariaso, who is celebrating his 42nd birthday on Friday.
Under Cariaso’s first conference with Ginebra during the Governors Cup last season, the Kings compiled an even 5-5 win-loss record and ended up sixth in the season-ending tournament.