Cone, Nash Racela bracing for 'classic series' as Ginebra looks to impose size to slow down TNT
Tim Cone hopes to find a way to defuse TNT's fast and deadly offense when the Gin Kings and KaTropa face off in the semis. Jaime Campos

BARANGAY Ginebra tries to prove that its elimination-round blowout loss to TNT KaTropa was just a fluke as the Gin Kings and Texters begin their PBA Governors’ Cup semifinal series on Monday night at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.

The Gin Kings suffered a 121-92 beating at the hands of the Texters in their last game in the regular season, their most lopsided loss in two seasons under coach Tim Cone.

But Ginebra seeks to flip the script this time as they face the Texters in Game One of the best-of-five series that tips off at 7 p.m.

“TNT handled us with ease the last time they played us,” Cone said on the eve of the series opener. “They totally outplayed and outran us. We’ll need to find some ways to slow them down.”

“No doubt they are a tough matchup for us: size vs speed,” he added. “Could be a classic series.”

Indeed, the Gin Kings are leaning on their height advantage with Greg Slaughter, Japeth Aguilar, and Joe Devance down low, while LA Tenorio, Scottie Thompson, Sol Mercado, and do-it-all import Justin Brownlee take care of the playmaking duties.

Aside from their speed, the Texters torched the Gin Kings from beyond the arc with 17 three-pointers, including six treys each from Glen Rice Jr. and Jayson Castro, their eliminations faceoff.

And the Texters look to replicate their hot shooting to negate the Gin Kings’ size edge.

“A lot of things have been happening with our team over the last couple of weeks, but we’ve always believed we belong to the semis,” TNT coach Nash Racela said after Rain or Shine dragged them to a deciding game in their quarterfinal matchup. “We expect an even harder series playing Ginebra.”

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