MANILA, Philippines -- Barangay Ginebra will try to pounce on a TNT squad that may be playing without its leading scorer in Game 2 of the 2020 PBA Philippine Cup finals, Wednesday night at the Angeles University Foundation Gym in Angeles City, Pampanga.
The Gin Kings seized a 1-0 lead in the best-of-seven series after escaping with a 100-94 overtime win in Sunday night's opener, where they leaned on LA Tenorio in the endgame to push them past the finish line.
It was a painful setback for the Tropang Giga, who had a chance to win in regulation but saw Jayson Castro misfire on a floater with five seconds to go. They scored just two points in the extra period, while Tenorio set up his teammates for easy opportunities.
"This was truly an exhausting game," Ginebra coach Tim Cone said afterward, as he credited the "desire" of both squads to claim victory.
"It's just a lot of desire at this point. We can't underestimate how important the All-Filipino crown is. Just, you know, we want it, they want it, and I think we showed that today," he added.
As important as it was to draw first blood in the seven-game series, Cone was also quick to stress that it was "just the first game."
The multi-titled mentor expects plenty of adjustments from TNT come Game 2, especially if Ray Parks winds up missing the contest after sustaining a left calf strain in Game 1. Parks, who had 20 points in the first game despite visibly limping for long stretches, is "highly doubtful" for Wednesday night's contest.
Even without Parks, TNT poses plenty of problems for the Gin Kings. Cone said that on defense, they have to "pick your poison."
"Will we have an answer to (them) all the time? No. They're a good team, they're in the finals, and they're in the finals because of the problems they pose. So, just some things are gonna happen," he said.
"We're just gonna try to overcome it mentally," he added. "They're a great shooting team, so they're gonna get on some rolls where they hit three-pointers in a row, but we're just gonna have to steel ourselves and try to stay calm and go back and attack them."
For the Tropang Giga, they hope to get more contributions from their other key players especially if Parks winds up missing the game.
Castro had 12 points but was just four-of-13 from the field, while Roger Pogoy had 19 points on seven-of-17 shooting. Poy Erram had 10 points and 10 rebounds, but Troy Rosario was limited to eight points.
They also need to contain Japeth Aguilar, who had 25 points after making 11 of his 14 field goals in Game 1, including the dunk in overtime that iced the victory.
"We should learn from Game 1, and hopefully, it will be a different ball game on Wednesday," TNT coach Bong Ravena was quoted as saying.
Tip off is at 6 p.m.