GINEBRA’s back-to-back losses in its final two outings in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup easily made the team miss the presence of resident star Mark Caguioa.
“We came up short, kulang talaga. Siyempre, 20 points per game,” Kings veteran point guard Jayjay Helterbrand said after the Kings’ 86-100 setback to Talk `N Text Sunday night at the Mall of Asia Arena.
The figures Helterbrand was referring to represents Caguioa’s conference-average that was lost due to the reigning MVP’s knee injury.
While Caguioa’s offense was missed, Helterbrand also pointed out the team was surprised to see how big of a difference new Talk ‘N Text import Jerome Jordan made on the court as he effectively shut down the Kings’ Vernon Macklin in the game.
“Vernon maybe got tired as well though l guess we’re not prepared on how big Jordan was. It (Jordan’s presence) really affected Vernon. Everything we tried to do, we didn’t do,” he added.
On the other hand, Macklin gave credit to Talk ‘N Text for doing its homework in preventing him from doing damage inside.
“Their (Tropang Texters) coach (Norman Black) had a great strategy because when I catch the ball, they forced me to go baseline and I couldn’t get help. They made it tough for me to go to the middle,” explained the 6-foot-9 Macklin, who was held to 12 points and nine rebounds, both conference lows.
For now, the Kings await the result of the Meralco-Rain or Shine game on Wednesday to determine the team’s final seeding heading into the quarterfinals that starts Friday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.