THE learning process continues for Barangay Ginebra as the Kings seek a second straight win under new coach Jeffrey Cariaso when they tangle against Meralco in the main game of the PBA Governors Cup on Saturday at the Mall of Asia Arena.
Cariaso had a triumphant coaching debut with the team following an 89-71 demolition of Globalport on Tuesday.
Despite the 18-point victory, Cariaso rated the team’s understanding of the Triangle Offense at somewhere between 60 to 65 percent at this point.
“We’re lucky to be at 60 to 65 percent but lots of hard work pa talaga,” Cariaso said candidly as his team takes on the Bolts (0-2) at 5:15 p.m.
Cariaso said Ginebra’s goal for the rest of the conference is to make sure each week the team gets to embrace and learn the complicated system responsible for making San Mig coach Tim Cone the all-time winningest mentor in league history with 17 titles.
“We’ve always said that when we run the triangle next week, we’ll be better than this week, and then, a month from now, we’ll be better,” he added.
The freshman Ginebra coach also said the Kings have more options in running the triangle every time rookie center Greg Slaughter is on the floor owing to his size and skills.
“Greg’s a perfect triangle big man. He can do a lot of things because obviously, he can post up,” noted the 41-year-old former 10-time All-Star.
“He’s so big, a big target in the middle. He’s our anchor and by throwing the ball into him, it allows us to run our other options,” he added.
On the other hand, Meralco coach Ryan Gregorio is hopeful the team’s two heartbreaking losses to start the season-ending conference are enough lessons for the Bolts to adjust and finally, register their first victory.
“We’ve been competing hard but we could not finish games on a high note,” said Gregorio, whose team dropped a 95-94 loss to Barako Bull on Sunday, followed by a 105-99 defeat to sister team Talk ‘N Text on Wednesday.
“I thought in our last two games, we could have turned the outcome around, but we just couldn’t pull through.”