Ginebra shoots for All-Filipino glory as weary TNT fights for survival

Published December 8, 2020, 6:46 PM

by Jonas Terrado

Stanley Pringle of Barangay Ginebra takes a jumper against Troy Rosario of TNT in Game 5 of the PBA Philippine Cup Finals on Wednesday. PBA Images

A grand coronation looms for Barangay Ginebra San Miguel as it tries to finish off TNT and capture the PBA Philippine Cup crown on Wednesday in Game 5 of their Finals series at the Angeles University Foundation Sports and Cultural Center.

Odds favor the Kings to hoist the Jun Bernardino Perpetual Trophy in the 6 p.m. match after taking a commanding 3-1 lead in the best-of-seven series following Sunday’s 98-88 win inside the Smart Clark Giga City bubble.

The trophy which has been sitting at the Quest Hotel since the bubble began was already removed in preparation for a possible awarding at the end of the contest.

That is something TNT will attempt to delay at least for one game, but its chances of extending the series are a long shot if Ray Parks Jr. and Jayson Castro won’t suit up due to injuries.

Parks has missed the last three games of the championship series due to a calf strain but could suit up with the Tropang Giga in a dire situation.

It is difficult to say if Castro will also play after nursing bone spurs on his left knee in Game 4. TNT said the status of both Parks and Castro is day-to-day.

“Right now, I just think that we just gonna try out and whoever shows up we gonna go out and play,” said Cone. “I know Bobby Ray is supposedly close to coming back and Jayson’s a warrior, he’ll find a way if he possibly can. So we’re gonna assume that they’re gonna play.”

Whether TNT has enough confidence left will be known regardless if Castro and Parks play or not as Ginebra has been on a roll even when things aren’t suppose to be going well.

LA Tenorio has a strong case for the Finals Most Valuable Player award with series averages of 14.5 points on 48.8 percent shooting, 6.3 assists and 1.5 steals. Tenorio has made half of his 20 attempts from three-point range, including a pair that sealed the deal for the Kings in Game 4.

Read: LA Tenorio shows nerves of steel for another superb endgame performance

Stanley Pringle is leading Ginebra in scoring at 21.3 points while Japeth Aguilar has posted 17.8 points and 9.5 rebounds and Scottie Thompson 9.3 points, 9.0 rebounds and 5.0 assists.

Veterans Joe Devance and Jared Dillinger, Aljon Mariano and Most Improved Player candidate Prince Caperal are also making valuable contributions.

With the condition of Parks and Castro still uncertain, RR Pogoy will be tasked to carry much of the load for the Tropang Giga, though he’s been stellar on offense with an average of 27.3 points on 45.7-percent shooting.

Troy Rosario hopes to put up key numbers while Poy Erram tries to produce another double-double and keep his cool at the same time.