Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Never say die team, Against Air21

On the start of the 2008 Smart PBA Fiesta Conference, Ginebra was on a thrilling part of the elimination round after starting with a zero wins and five losses the never say die attitude of Ginebra prevailed. Chris Alexander (Best import of the conference) is the major factor while the other troupes like Jay-Jay Helterbrand (Best Player of the conference) and the spark Mark Caguiao help the team to be in the Championship game and made a long winning streak of 13th straight win in Pba history.

Game 6 Ginebra tied the series at 3 game a piece, Chris Alexander made a major contribution with 37 points. I was there who watched and I am part of the record of 18,643 pay
ing patrons (notching the PBA ticket sales to about 2.3 million pesos) who witnessed the game.

Game 7
-will be held tonight at Araneta Coliseum. Yesterday I was in SM MEGAMALL and when I turned my head back I saw ERICK MENK of Barangay Ginebra. I call his name and told him to do well on their last game, he only smiled telling me that they will win the championship.

Ginebra is playing hurt. JAY JAY HELTERBRAND is out of pull hamstring injury, PAUL ARTADI is not 100% because of his hamstring injury. Aside from Chris Alexander and Mark Caguiao, I think the other guys must step-up like Sunday Salvacion, Junthy Valenzuela, Erick Menk, Chris Pacana, Rafi Reavies and Billy Mamaril if they want to win the Championship.


Below is the PBA article dated today:

Just which team that would be remains a big question mark as Barangay Ginebra and Air21 lower the curtains on their titular showdown with a final act – a deciding seventh game – Wednesday night at the Araneta Coliseum.

What many thought would be a ho-hum best-of-seven series has shaped up into an epic duel as the Kings, walking wounded as their coach Jong Uichico keeps on saying, refused to let go, giving credence to their never-say-die spirit that has endeared them to their multitudes.

A huge crowd – mostly Ginebra diehards – is expected to show up for the 7 o'clock showdown and fill every nook and cranny of the historic Big Dome to rally behind the Kings, who saved their season and stayed on course for a ninth championship by rallying from 16 points to stun the Express, 80-75, in Game 6.

That remarkable comeback certainly provided the Kings a huge psychological boost as they battle the Express for all the marbles and the possible return of Jayjay Helterbrand in the lineup should lift up the spirit and energize the franchise aiming to reclaim the title it won in 2004-05.

Apparently, Helterbrand, who sustained a hamstring pull late in Game 2, tried to play in Game 6 but the injury still bothered him.

"But who knows? We might play him in Game 7," hinted Uichico, seeking an eighth career championship and his second title with the Kings.

Uichico anticipates the Final Act to be a battle but claims there's no need for adjustments.

"This (Game 7) is a players' game. It's their wanting to win that will make the difference," Uichico said.

"Sheer heart. That's what has kept us alive. I just hope we could play again that way on Wednesday."

Air21 coach Bo Perasol said their loss in Game 6 has provided them insights on how to improve on some areas of their game.

Air21 is eyeing its first PBA championship and the Express appear to have the skills and the ability to accomplish their goal. But after throwing away a golden opportunity last Sunday, some observers wonder if the Express still have the heart to go all the way.

Perasol, who has the chance to claim the most valuable jewel in his coaching career, said his troops were "sad and very frustrated after losing Game 6" but suggested the Express have only themselves to blame for the defeat.

"(Ginebra) did nothing special to beat us. We lost because we gave them a lot of second chance points and we made a lot of poor shot selections," Perasol explained.

But what apparently puzzled the Air21 coach was his troops' move to abandon the full court defense that has kept the Kings struggling on offense for most part of Game 6.

"I really don't think we have to feel bad. That would be a negative feeling going into Game 7. We know exactly what happened there. All we have to do is to play together to pull this through," Perasol said.

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