‘Hopefully this is the start of good things for Ginebra’
MANILA, Philippines – Like many fresh college graduates floundering at their first forray into the real world, Barangay Ginebra San Miguel came out uncoordinated, flat, and just downright terrible in their first two games of the 2015 PBA Commissioner’s Cup.
Not even a month in with reinstated coach Ato Agustin and just days with import Michael Dunigan, the Gin Kings looked lost, disheveled, even clueless at some points, as they fell to Meralco – which lost in the tug-of-war for Dunigan – and Barako Bull.
But the popular franchise recovered and avoided a 0-3 hole with a win over San Miguel, as they finally lived up to the preseason hype, displaying their natural run and gun system for the first time after spending the last two conferences trying to embody the slow-paced triangle offense under Jeff Cariaso.
Ginebra was explosive from the beginning, barely giving the Philippine Cup champions breathing room with a stready stream of baskets on the break and scoring in the paint. Add to that the highlight dunks and blocks which only fueled an already fast-rising Ginebra momentum well before the first half ended.
“It doesn’t matter kung ano yan eh, triangle, run and gun, circle or square. Kahit ano yan, walang problema yan. Yung iba nga walang sistema pero nananalo eh. It’s up to the players kung talagang gusto nila or isasapuso nila kasi at the end of the day you just have to get the W." - LA Tenorio
The second half was no different. Not wanting to fall prey to any meltdowns, the Gin Kings pressed down harder on the gas pedal and eventually pulled away in the fourth, leading by as much as 16 points to come away with a comfortable victory.
“We just have to play hard and put effort in the game. Yun lang naman ang kulang sa amin eh, especially sa mga close and big games, kulang sa amin is effort. Yun yung nagawa namin maganda [against San Miguel],” said veteran point guard LA Tenorio.
“Hopefully this is the start of the good things na mangyayari for Ginebra, na maibalik sa amin yung system na run and gun. Sana tuloy tuloy na yung ganitong game.”
(That’s what we lack, especially in close and big games, we lack effort. And that’s what we did good against San Miguel. Hopefully this is the start of good things for Ginebra, that we can fully bring back the run and gun system. I hope we continue moving upward from here.)
“I think lumabas yung running game namin,” Agustin said of his team’s performance. “Yung mga lapses namin for the past two games namin, yung execution ng offense namin, doon kami nag-adjust.”
(I think we brought out our running game. We adjusted from the lapses we committed in the past two games and in the execution of our offense.)
From practice to the real deal
Conducting his first post-game interview as a winning coach, Agustin explained the reason for Ginebra’s under-performance was their inability to translate what they did at practice into the real game. Much like young adults groping to apply lessons from school into the real world.
Tenorio as well as veteran guard and former PBA Most Valuable Player Mark Caguioa agreed without question.
“Usually naman wala kami problema sa practice eh. Pag dating lang talaga sa game bumababa yung intensity ng laro,” said Caguioa, who was inspired by his team’s play and posted 17 points and 5 rebounds in the win. (Usually we don’t have problems in practice. But when it comes to the game we lose our intensity.)
“Totoo yun. Siyempre iba rin kasi pag practice. Pag game iba na rin,” Tenorio shared. (It’s true. Naturally practice is different and the game itself is different, too.)