As everyone bathes in the euphoria of winning a championship after a historic night, the celebration was punctuated by another huge wave of Ginebra chant – a resounding cry of triumph as coaches, players and fans alike shout in unison, the name of the victor which played with all their might.
It echoed all over the massive Philippine Arena with no other than Kings head coach Tim Cone leading the final wave of the chant – the loudest and the most energetic of it, especially coming from the record 54,589 crowd who, up to this day, continues to live up to what the legendary and ever-charismatic Sonny Jaworski started during his heyday.
And with all the marbles on the line, Cone knew full well that they simply couldn’t do it if not for their sixth man showing up.
“From the tip, the ball went out and you can feel the energy from the crowd. You can see the way it affected the players. this game is all of you truly of you,” said Cone during his speech
“It was amazing. I have never been a part of this and it’s such a great feeling,” added the winningest coach in the PBA who bagged his 25th title following the 114-99 victory over Bay Area in the Game 7.
Right off the bat, the crowd did its part and was extra animated all-game long, booing Bay Area and cheering for Ginebra – something that Cone believed really manifested into the game of the players.
“I really feel that they could feel the energy of the crowd, the 54,000 that were here. Just from the very basket that we scored it’s hard to explain but you can just feel the energy of the players just go up,” added Cone.
Buoyed by the legion of fans behind them, the Kings staged the massive uprising in the second quarter where they outplayed the Dragons, 34-18, to take a commanding 61-39 lead. Bay Area looked rattled and in disarray during that point while the Kings were brimming with confidence, much of it coming from the cheers of the crowd.
“It was amazing, you guys can see it in our body language. They talk about the sixth man but Ginebra never got to beat them by 20, it was always close games out of nowhere the whole Ginebra nation was out there,” said Finals MVP Christian Standhardinger.
“That definitely helped us a whole lot. Playing with the sixth man, NSD fanatics, all the fans who came out supporting us. We are struggling a little bit in the game, you can hear all of those Ginebra chants, they gave us a lot of fuel tonight,” echoed the now six-time PBA champion import Justin Brownlee.
“It was amazing to see, look up in the crowd. It’s just amazing. I’m happy we got the win tonight. I’m happy for the fans,” he added.