JUST when Barangay Ginebra is finally making a big push for a quarterfinal berth, the PBA Commissioner’s Cup went on a two-week break to give way to Gilas Pilipinas’ campaign in the FIBA World Cup qualifier.
Coach Tim Cone admitted the respite has a big effect on the King’s momentum especially after putting together a four-game winning streak capped by a big 105-86 rout of Alaska before the tournament took a 10-day rest.
For Ginebra, it meant not playing for 12 days as it won’t return to the court until July 6 when it tangles with Globalport in an all-important game that has a huge bearing on the two teams’ playoff bid.
“Long breaks like that is something we really have to battle because after three or four games in a row, (suddenly) we have a long break,” said Cone. “We’re really feeling good now, and then guys might not go into practice with the same intent that (they) have the last couple of weeks.”
The Kings are now tied with the Batang Pier for the sixth to seventh spots on identical 5-5 records, making their encounter at the Astrodome a must-win for both sides if they hope to avoid complications entering the playoffs.
“We don’t have a margin for error, and we can’t afford to lose the last one,” Cone said.
That's enough motivation to keep the surging Kings on their toes.
“That’s something we can continue to use on our players, and say, ‘Hey, we still have to stay focused and we got to keep on pushing,” said the champion mentor. “We just can’t kind of relax. Hopefully, that will help us stay in our momentum.”