BARANGAY Ginebra is still ahead of Meralco in the PBA Governors’ Cup Finals, but the Gin Kings are conditioning their minds into thinking they’re the ones trailing and on the verge elimination.
That’s because a part of history is on the side of the Bolts, who are eager to follow up a 94-81 Game Three breakthrough win and tie the best-of-seven series at two games apiece in Game Four on Friday night at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
“We have to have a do-or-die mentality,” LA Tenorio said. “Para iba yung aggressiveness pag ganun yung mentality.”
The Gin Kings' star guard has already experienced losing a two-game lead in a best-of-seven title series, back when he was a rookie with San Miguel Beer in the 2006-07 season when the Beermen lost the final four games - and the championship - to Ginebra.
“Kaya alam ko kung gaano kasakit,” Tenorio said.
The Gin Kings don’t even have to look far in knowing that a 2-1 lead can easily be reversed. They trailed Meralco, 2-1, in this same finals last year before winning the next three games to end an eight-year championship drought.
“Of course, the thing at the back of our mind is we were down two-one last time we played them and we (won) the series,” Gin Kings coach Tim Cone said. “And we’re now on the flipside, so we recognize that. Anything can happen – the series can change very quickly, momentum can change.”
“But we got a lot of vets and our guys understand what it’s all about,” he was quick to add. “I think they’re going to be ready tomorrow.”
Tenorio believes their Game Three loss will only make them more motivated and prompt Cone to make the necessary adjustments to put them on the cusp of back-to-back titles.
“Inaantay lang naman niya siguro na mangyari itong (talo) for him to adjust,” Tenorio said. “This time, for sure, he’ll adjust.”
“Wala naman kaming big adjustment na ginawa – going into the Meralco series,” he added. “He’s very confident sa sistema niya. He’s the type of coach na whatever’s working, why adjust, ‘di ba? And then he’s very confident sa team execution namin. So maliit lang 'yan (adjustments).”