Brgy. Ginebra blew a chance of clinching a top 4 spot in the playoffs of the 2021 PBA Governors’ Cup by dropping its crucial game against NLEX.
The Gin Kings had the game under control in the first half but couldn’t contain Yeng Guiao’s troops in the 2nd as the Road Warriors overpowered the defending champions 115-103, Friday night at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
The victory gave the MVP-owned franchise an 8-3 record and a twice-to-beat advantage in the next stage while giving the crowd darlings a tougher path into the next round.
With their 5th loss in 10 outings, Brgy. Ginebra is now in a must-win situation for its final elimination round game on Sunday, March 6 against the also-ran Rain or Shine Elasto Painters.
For a team that won the season-ending conference three times in the last four stagings, the Gin Kings’ current predicament is really hard to comprehend.
“We have to figure it out now. We lost our chance to get to the Top 4, and now we’d bounce and see if we can get into the Top 8. That’s two conferences in a row, that’s too many in a row. That’s too many,” said Brgy. Ginebra head coach Tim Cone during an interview with SPIN.ph.
“For the kind of team we have, and the kind of organization we have, that’s unacceptable,” he added.
The Gin Kings, who won against bottom-dwellers Blackwater and Terrafirma before succumbing to NLEX, ended up as the 8th seed in the 2021 Philippine Cup after beating Phoenix Super LPG in a winner-take-all match. TNT, however, needed just one game in their quarterfinal series to dispose of the then-defending champs.
“I am at a loss for words. I’m really quite discouraged with the way we’re playing. I really don’t use that word discourage, but I’m really discouraged with the way we’re playing,” said the two-time Grand Slam-winning mentor.
“Defensively we’ve been bad all conference, and it shows in our metrics, and it showed up again tonight in the second half. Again I’m lost for words. Wish I had some solutions.”