Ginebra doubles down on defense in preparing for fast GlobalPort pace even without Terrence Romeo
Scottie Thompson is confident Ginebra is ready to take on the tough task of slowing down Stanley Pringle and the Batang Pier. Jaime Campos / Jerome Ascano

BARANGAY Ginebra may have one less dynamic scorer to worry about, but it seems the Gin Kings are still seeing double as they tangle with GlobalPort in the resumption of the PBA Philippine Cup on Sunday night at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.

The Gin Kings have been preparing as if the Batang Pier will be with superstar Terrence Romeo, who is expected to miss his second straight game due to a knee injury.

“Iniisip namin na maglalaro na siya,” Ginebra star Scottie Thompson told SPIN.ph. “Kung hindi man siya maglaro, walang mawawala sa amin, kasi prepared kami kung andyan siya o wala.

Without Romeo, expect his backcourt partner Stanley Pringle to again carry most of the scoring load for a Batang Pier side that’s seeking to atone for a 115-104 loss to NLEX on Christmas Day.

Still, Gin Kings coach Tim Cone is bracing for Batang Pier’s attack led by their two-headed monster.

“Global has always been a tough matchup for us because of the quickness of Pringle and Romeo,” Cone said on the eve of their matchup that tips off at 6:45 p.m. “We’ll need to do a good job of containing them.”

Indeed, the Gin Kings’ defense will be a major factor, and it was evident in their opening-day win over Magnolia last Christmas when they held the Hotshots to just 78 points.

“Wino-work namin yung sprint back on defense, transition D, kasi GlobalPort, talagang mabilis yung pace nila, so sana makasabay kami,” Thompson said. “At the same time, wino-work rin namin yung inside game namin.”

Whether the Gin Kings will be on their toes or not will be known as they take the court after a relatively long holiday break.

“Another long break to overcome,” Cone said. “We’re thankful for it, but still, it is always hard to stay sharp through it. We’re still missing key guys – Joe, Sol, Art – but we have prepared to play without them and feel good about the way we have practiced through the break.”

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NLEX seeks to grab their third straight win and the solo lead as it takes on Phoenix (1-1) in the curtain-raiser at 4:30 p.m.

Follow the writer on Twitter: @KarloSacamos