AFTER missing its golden opportunity for a twice-to-beat incentive, Barangay Ginebra now tries to just barge into the quarterfinals as it takes on Talk ’N Text on Sunday at the close of the PBA Governors Cup single round eliminations at the Mall of Asia Arena.
Gin Kings coach Ato Agustin knows the urgency of the mission, which is why he is hopeful that veteran forward Kerby Raymundo will finally regain his rhythm when the Kings (3-5) go up against the Tropang Texters (2-6) at 6:30 p.m.
“Si Kerby kasi kababalik lang, so nag struggle pa siya. Sa practice kasi maganda na ginagalaw niya pero siyempre, iba yung sa laro, siguro nanibago lang siya. Sana naman by Sunday maganda na rin galaw niya,” said Agustin, whose team blew a chance for a guaranteed no. 3 seed after bowing to Globalport, 106-113 in overtime on Friday.
The result allowed the Batang Pier to book their first-ever PBA playoff stint, while installing the waiting Meralco Bolts to the No. 3 seed.
Globalport’s win also eliminated Air21 from the quarterfinal picture. The Express wind up their elimination round schedule with a match against Alaska at 4:15 p.m.
Agustin admitted they failed to do a better job defensively on the pick and roll plays of Globalport, which allowed Batang Pier to get easy baskets in the paint.
“Yes, definitely, focused na kami sa Talk ’N Text game. We need to work on our problem, kasi halos pick and roll ang naging problema namin. Kailangan naming i-work out yun against Talk ’N Text,” he added.
On the other hand, Talk ’N Text is one spot outside the final eight and coach Norman Black recognizes the consequence of losing for the fifth straight time on Sunday.
“Yes, we will have a hard road ahead. But we will just focus on what’s in front of us, which is the game against Ginebra. We will worry about what’s next if and when we get there,” said Black, whose team has
struggled this conference due to absence of his four key players during the first few games after playing for Gilas Pilipinas in last month’s Fiba-Asia men’s championships.