BARANGAY Ginebra kicks off its quest for a back-to-back PBA championship on Sunday against TNT Katropa in the main game of a Philippine Cup doubleheader at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
The Kings take to the Big Dome floor at 6:45 p.m. in their first outing of the season since winning the Governors Cup title against Meralco a month ago.
Ginebra coach Tim Cone hopes the team would be able to overcome opening day jitters, especially against a Texters side which he believes is in for a bounce back after shooting badly against Rain or Shine in a 101-87 loss in its first game.
“TNT did not shoot the ball well last time out, but we expect them to shoot the ball a lot better against us,” said Cone.
The Texters shot just 37 percent (33 of 89) from the field against the Elasto Painters as they played minus top gunner Jayson Castro, who is still doubtful for the team against Ginebra.
But even without him, Cone said the Kings need to be at their best to beat TNT.
“You can’t beat TNT without your ‘A’ game,” noted the Ginebra mentor.
The Kings will continue to miss the services of injured big man Greg Slaughter, still recovering from an off-season ACL surgery, but are ready to parade rookies Kevin Ferrer, towering Jericho de Guzman, and Jam Jamito.
“Hopefully, we get over our first game jitters early and get going right away,” said Cone, who had the Kings practicing twice-a-day to fast-track their preparations for the all-Filipino conference after an extended break coming off a championship.
“I think we’re all looking forward to getting this thing started.”