Ato Agustin on rematch with twice-to-beat Rain or Shine: “Parang best-of-three lang 'yan na ahead sila one game'
Mark Caguioa, Greg Slaughter and the rest of Ginebra will have to overhaul the twice-to-beat advantage of top seed Rain or Shine in the playoffs. Jaime Campos

BEATING top seed Rain or Shine in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup playoffs is just a matter of perspective, according to Barangay Ginebra coach Ato Agustin.

“Sinabi ko lang sa kanila (Kings), we still have a chance. Huwag lang maging down. Heads-up tayo kasi di naman tayo out,” stressed Agustin to his embattled team following Wednesday night’s 104-98 loss to Alaska.

“Parang best-of-three lang yan na ahead sila (Elasto Painters) ng one game.”

The Kings found themselves crossing paths with the Elasto Painters after they fell to No. 8 seed in the quarterfinals as a result of the defeat at the hands of the Aces.

The two teams collide on Saturday at the Mall of Asia Arena in a rematch of their tumultuous encounter two weeks ago that saw the Elasto Painters fight back from an early 18-point deficit to eke out a gutsy 82-79 win.

For Ginebra to go deeper into the playoffs, Agustin said the team has to take good care of the basketball, which he noted had been one glaring undoing of the Kings in their past losses.

Against Alaska, Ginebra turned the ball over 19 times, which the Aces converted into 22 turnover points.

“Kailangan lang dito is we believe in each other at kaya naman namin. Sinabi ko naman sa kanila, when we played Rain or Shine, we were ahead, marami lang tayong mistakes,” he added.

The soft-spoken Ginebra coach said the Kings are definitely bracing for another physical match against Rain or Shine.

“Given siguro mas physical ang mangyayari sa Saturday, so kailangan i-focus namin ang sarili namin sa game. Hindi kasi dapat mawala,” stressed Agustin, whose team is hoping to duplicate its 2013 quarterfinal feat in this same tournament.

That season, Ginebra, then handled by coach Alfrancis Chua, beat second-seeded Rain or Shine twice in the quarterfinals and eventually advanced all the way to the Finals before coming up short against Alaska in the title series, 3-0.

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