BARANGAY Ginebra is bound to find out if its Holy Week grind will serve the team well as it seeks to dodge NLEX’s upset axe in their PBA Commissioner’s Cup matchup on Wednesday night at the Cuneta Astrodome.
Holding practice sessions last Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Easter Sunday, the Gin Kings look ready to stretch their winning streak to three games, although they take on a Road Warriors side that’s eager to barge into the win column after six straight losses to start the conference.
Gin Kings coach Tim Cone believes the Road Warriors’ winless record belies their true worth, having lost by an average of a mere 3.3 points in their last three games.
Still, the Gin Kings are hoping to avoid being the first victim of the Yeng Guiao-coached team.
“NLEX is incredibly scary,” Cone said on the eve of the 7 p.m. matchup. “They’ve yet to win a game, but they have been in every game they played. Needless to say, they are a team not to be taken lightly.”
“They are figuring out Coach Yeng’s system and playing better in every game,” he added. “And that is something we have discussed and hopefully that has sunk in to the players and they’ll be ready.”
The Gin Kings have been clicking on both ends as of late, having won by an average of 16 points in their first two games after beginning the tournament on the losing side.
A large part of that is Justin Brownlee regaining his groove and doing it all for the Gin Kings, with the latest evidence a 113-98 win over Star where the Ginebra import scattered 30 points, 15 boards, six assists, four blocks, and two steals without committing a single turnover in 40 minutes.
NLEX counterpart Wayne Chism has also been carrying a ton of load for his team, but has drawn little support from the locals.
“If you’re 0 and six, you’re going to be frustrated, but I got to keep confidence in my team,” Chism said. “I don’t want them to go out like this. And I got confidence that they’ll flip the page and we can get over the hump, and win one.”