BARANGAY Ginebra seeks to regain its trademark ball distribution as it tries to regain the lead over TNT KaTropa on Friday night when both teams face off in Game Three of their PBA Governors’ Cup semifinal series at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
The Gin Kings lost to the Texters, 103-96, in Game Two in Batangas where Ginebra dished out 20 assists – decent for most, but still below their norm in the eliminations where they averaged a tournament-best 26.5 assists.
Japeth Aguilar conceded to the Texters’ surprisingly suffocating defense that left the Gin Kings veering away from spreading the wealth.
“Aggressive sila sa defense, they pressured well, so that made us kinda go one-on-one, instead of share the ball,” Aguilar said.
“Aggressive lang talaga,” he added. “They imposed their will instead of us being more aggressive.”
Aguilar was one of the Gin Kings who were aggressive as he had a handful of slam dunks on the way to finishing 14 points on 7-of-12 shooting, nine boards, three blocks, and two assists in 31 minutes.
But two fellow big men put up sub-par efforts.
Greg Slaughter contributed only eight points on nine attempts and committed five turnovers in almost 25 minutes after tallying 16 points on the same number of attempts and committing just two turnovers in 21 minutes in their series-opening 121-94 win.
Joe Devance, for his part, was held to just four points in 29 minutes after putting up 19 points in 27 minutes in Game One.
Gin Kings coach Tim Cone is simply hoping his team to match the Texters execution and intensity on both ends.
“TNT was a motivated team in Game Two and it showed in their play,” Cone said on the eve of the matchup that tips off at 7 p.m. “They beat us in all facets of the game. We, on the other hand, were very scattered. I’d like us to play a little more organized and be tighter in our play."
“It’s a best of three now, so Game Three is crucial for both teams,” he added.