Barangay Ginebra San Miguel’s bid to claim a twice-to-beat incentive will no longer be in their control despite posting a 122-105 victory over NorthPort in the Philippine Basketball Association Commissioner’s Cup late Sunday at the Philsports Arena in Pasig City.
With an 8-3 win-loss card, the Kings will have to win their final game against Converge on Wednesday while pray for Magnolia, which has a 9-2 record, to lose to Rain or Shine on Friday to grab the No. 2 spot via a win-over-the-other rule.
Should the Hotshots win over the Elasto Painters, the Kings can kiss the twice-to-beat bonus goodbye even if they prevail over the FiberXers.
Ginebra coach Tim Cone knows that booking the bonus is easier said than done so they will just focus on things they can control.
“Right now, we don’t control our destiny. We have to have Magnolia lose to Rain or Shine while we have to win for us to get into the top two,” Cone said.
“We aren’t even going to focus on the top two at this point because we don’t have control of it.”
Cone, the winningest coach in Asia’s first pay-to-play league, admitted that they lost control of their destiny when bowed to NLEX, 117-120, last Friday.
“We opened the door last game when we lost to NLEX and Magnolia has stormed through that door from winning the first game. As I said, we have no control over it,” Cone said.
“We want to control the things that we have control and that’s the process of the day-to-day, getting better. I know it’s boring but that’s how we try to approach it.”
“We are just happy that we still have something to fight for, and hopefully come out with a win. We will cheer for Yeng (Guiao) and cheer against our sister team. If that’s the case, we will be cheering loudly against our sister team if we are able to beat Converge on Wednesday,”
Against the Batang Pier, Jamie Malonzo was at his best, dropping 26 points, five blocks and three rebounds.
Malonzo, who was shipped to NorthPort as a part of a three-team trade between Ginebra and San Miguel Beer, said he really wanted to work on his shooting and contribute to the team more than just his high-flying dunks.
He added that he was motivated to face the Batang Pier.
“I think I have a little motivation in this game. Those are familiar faces and I just want to show a little bit of something to my old friends, old coaches and management,” he said.
“That is something I’m trying to be consistent with — taking better shots, taking better shots within the offense. Those were sort of my key points going into this season and it has been paying off.”