JEFF Chan earned praise from Barangay Ginebra coach Tim Cone for sparking a second-quarter run by the Gin Kings in Game Three of the PBA Governors’ Cup semifinals.
Chan had 17 points in 14 minutes of play as the Gin Kings defeated NorthPort, 132-105, to give them a 2-1 series lead in the semifinals.
Chan scored eight in a 15-6 blast that put Ginebra up, 53-40, before the Gin Kings led by as many as 32 points in the contest.
“He spearheaded that breakaway that we had in that second quarter. He hit some big shots,” said Cone. “It’s tough when you are trying to focus on Justin Brownlee or Stanley Pringle, and Japeth and Greg inside and then you’ve got Jeff out there spotting around and it’s hard to account for him.”
Chan was very efficient in the limited minutes that he played, shooting 7 of 10 from the field including a 3 of 5 clip from threes.
“He was by far the best player off the bench. If he can continue to do that throughout this series and if we can get into the next one, we will be tough to beat,” said Cone.
Chan deflected the credit.
“I think nag-focus lang kami sa defense,” Chan said. “Every game kasi, tingin namin, defense ang makakapagpanalo sa amin. Nag-translate lang ‘yun sa offense namin. We moved the ball pretty well at nag-create ng open shots. Sinuwerte lang na nung time na ‘yun, nandoon din ako. Not only me, marami naman lahat nag-shoot ng magandang percentage.”
Chan’s performance was a big follow-up to his 12-point effort in Game Two of the Governors’ Cup semifinals which also resulted in a blowout win over NorthPort, already an impressive showing in the playoffs for the former Gilas Pilipinas player considering that he was out for most of the previous conference due to an ankle injury.
“Medyo matagal nga ‘yun. Nawala nga ako nung season. Thankful ako nan aka-recover na ako, unti-unti nang bumabalik ‘yung laro at nabibigyan na ng playing time ni coach. Gusto ko lang maka-contribute in any way as long as we get that win, okay na ako, masaya na ako,” said Chan.
Chan is looking to play even better in Game Four as he expects NorthPort to come out fighting in a do-or-die situation.
“Aasahan namin na mag-all out sila kasi siyempre, do-or-die na for them. Kami naman, we will play our best pa rin. Do-or-die din sa amin kasi ayaw namin umabot sa Game Five. Mahirap na. Basta mag-focus lang kami na maging aggressive both offense and defense, we will be fine,” said the 36-year-old veteran.