Sep 02, 2021

Ginebra extra cautious as it faces unpredictable Terrafirma

DEFENDING champion Barangay Ginebra goes on high alert as it resumes its bid in the PBA Philippine Cup in Bacolor, Pampanga Friday afternoon against an ambush-seeking Terrafirma side.

The Dyip fired a warning shot to the heavyweights last Wednesday when they pulled the rug from under powerhouse San Miguel in overtime, 110-104, for their first win after a 0-4 start.

Terrafirma's giant-killing abilities isn't lost on Gin Kings coach Tim Cone, whose wards have been struggling to gain traction in the all-Filipinos going only 2-2 prior to play suspension.

"Needless to say, we'd like a little more time to get in tip-top shape but that's what it is," said Cone.

"SMB's loss to Terrafirma was a big cautionary tale for our guys. You just can't take any PBA team for granted. Despite what it looks on paper, any PBA team can beat any PBA team," he noted.

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The erstwhile winless Dyip perfectly illustrated this as they clawed back from as many as 16 points down to topple a San Miguel squad that was on a three-game streak prior to the game.

Juami Tiongson waxed hot with a career-high 28 and got needed support from veterans Aldrech Ramos and Eric Camson as the Dyip completed the reversal even without young guns Joshua Munzon and Roosevelt Adams.

"We know we are playing a Terrafirma team that has belief and is confident. We have a battle in our hands," said Cone.

The Dyip enter the 3 p.m. matchup at the Don Honorio Ventura State U Gym with a lot more confidence.

"Sinasabi ko sa kanila, this is basketball, kung titignan natin yung kalaban, malakas, walang mangyayari sa atin. As long as we're ready to play as a team and ready to play to win, may mangyayari," said Terrafirma mentor Johnedel Cardel.

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Munzon is out for the season due to finger injury but Adams, the team's top scorer and rebounder back in the NCR hostilities, may be back after suffering from amoebiasis.

"We hope makabalik si Adams against Ginebra. Isang dagdag rin sa amin iyun, magiging deep yung players (rotation) ko and ready to fight again against Ginebra," said Cardel.

"We have to focus lang talaga and tulungan. Sana makasilat uli," he added. (OL)