|Alaska's Gabby Espinas (C) battles it out against Ginebra's Rudy Hatfield (R) and Chris Ellis. Photo by Mark Cristino for ABS-CBNnews.com
It's not over until it's over, says Chua
MANILA, Philippines – Barangay Ginebra is expected to pour all out on Sunday as it tries to avoid a three-game sweep by Alaska in Game 3 of their best-of-five PBA Commissioner’s Cup title series.
The Gin Kings need a breakthrough win after succumbing to an efficient Aces squad in Game 1 and Game 2.
“Talagang ibibigay na ng todo ng mga bata iyan, kasi backs against the wall kami,” said Ginebra coach Alfrancis Chua in the PBA website following their 90-104 defeat last Friday.
Chua said he could not ask for more from his team, who has struggled under Alaska’s stifling defense.
“They’re really giving their best, lumalaban kahit ano. Pagdating ng Sunday makikita n’yo, ibibigay nilang lahat.”
For his part, Alaska coach Luigi Trillo said they are prepared for whatever Ginebra has in store.
However, Trillo said he and his Aces are likely to stick to the same formula that brought the Gin Kings down two games in a row.
“We have a firm gameplan that’s been working. So until they figure that out then you need to keep on going with that. You maximize that.”
But if the Gin Kings suddenly throw in a curve ball, Trillo said they will have to make adjustments.
“I honestly believe Game 3 might be gametime adjustments, kasi you can’t plan ahead. Like they’re gonna double the post, they’re gonna run halfcourt into a zone, they’re gonna use three guards, four guards. We need to just keep on doing what we do and pagdating ng game, hopefully we can see it, call a timeout and adjust in the game itself.”
The Alaska coach admitted that the pressure will really be on Ginebra, which has to win two straight to level the series.
“Sunday will really test them as a team. We expect them to try harder, to go all out and we just have to be ready,” he said.
Chua said his wards are not about to quit after their long journey to the finals.
He witnessed how the Kings fought on despite having a bad import at the start of the conference, injuries that affected key players like Mark Caguioa, and a bruised thigh on present reinforcement Vernon Macklin.
“The series is not yet over. Lalaban pa ang mga iyan,” said Chua.
“They know it’s the championships and they’re not satisfied with just being here. Ang isang taong pagod na, kung minsan kahit anong energy ang ibigay mo d’yan, wala din, 'di ba? Pero Sunday, sa tulong ng mga tao siguradong ang mga players ko hangga’t pumapatak ang oras, lumalaban.”