Poor defense led to collapse, admits TNT coach Bong Ravena

Stanley Pringle of Barangay Ginebra drives to the basket against Ray Parks Jr. and Simon Enciso of TNT during Game 1 of the PBA Philippine Cup Finals. (PBA Images)

SMART CLARK GIGA CITY--Coach Bong Ravena rued TNT's poor defense in its overtime loss to Ginebra in the PBA Philippine Cup finals opener. 

Ravena said the Tropang Giga failed to execute their defensive scheme, resulting in a 100-94 overtime defeat at the hands of the Kings in Game One of the best-of-seven championship showdown on Sunday night at the AUF Arena. 

"Talagang medyo sloppy kami at the start eh. The whole game we’ve been struggling especially on our defense," said the 50-year-old mentor. 

Five Ginebra players scored in double figures with Japeth Aguilar dropping 25 points and Stanley Pringle pumping in 24 markers to account for almost half of the team's total output. 

Scottie Thompson finished with 15 points, rookie Arvin Tolentino chalked 14 and veteran guard LA Tenorio tallied 12. 

Tenorio also took advantage of the wide passing lanes, dishing out 10 assists including the pass that led to Tolentino's layup to send the game to an extra period.

It was the same brilliance that Tenorio showcased in extension when he found Aljon Mariano for a hook shot and moments later a sneaky pass to Aguilar who soared for a dunk to seal the win. 

The Kings heavily outrebounded the Tropang Giga too, 60-41 (19-10 on offensive boards). Aguilar was unstoppable under the basket as he hauled down 16 rebounds while Thompson continued his rebounding exploits to register nine. 

"May hindi nangyayari kaya ganyan 'yung game. Stick to the game plan dapat especially sa depensa, kung anong gagawin namin, kung anong rotation ba kailangan and do the little things like boxing out. 'Yung mga maliliit na bagay 'di namin nagagawa," Ravena lamented. 

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"Wala naman kailangang baguhin talaga. Yung maliliit na bagay lang." 

Ravena said the Tropang Giga have no problems in offense as they also had five players scoring in twin figures in Ray Parks Jr, (20 points), RR Pogoy (19), Jay Washington (14), Jayson Castro (12) and Poy Erram (10). 

"At the end of the day, it’s all about defense. Wala nang iba. Simula noon pa sinasabi ko na ang opensa hindi problema," he said. 

"Sana matuto kami sa game na 'to and hopefully it will be a different ball game on Wednesday.”