Bay Area head coach Brian Goorjian shrugged off any concern of momentum loss due the week-long break before Game 3, saying that it was even a welcome development for the team which had been playing against top level competition in the PBA playoffs.
The Dragons went on with a huge bounce back game in Game 2 to even the series and take the momentum ahead of the pivotal match on Wednesday, Jan. 4.
Goorjian said that instead of losing the momentum with the break, it actually worked to their favor as it allowed his key players to rest and recuperate from the wear and tear of the grueling and physical playoff run.
The Australian champion coach has been using a short rotation so far in the playoffs especially during the semifinals against San Miguel Beer and in the first two games against Ginebra in the Finals.
“You gotta make that an advantage. I’m not playing too deep into the bench. We very much rely on (Andrew) Nicholson, and Nicholson played every minute until it’s over,” said Goorjian
“Again, all of these are new to us than it is to them (Barangay Ginebra), and (we have) less experience. So after two games, we can grow and we really got the time to freshen up and make more adjustments,” he added.
Import Nicholson even played an average of 42 minutes in the first two games of the Finals. Glen Yang averaged 43 minutes while Zhu Songwei and Hayden Blankley had 33 and 37 minutes of play, respectively.
Both Nicholson and Zhu had to play extended minutes in Game 2 to ensure that the Kings won’t be completing their patented comeback game after cutting the lead that went to as many as 17 points to just five in the second half.
“I’m loving the battle, and I keep using the word about this whole experience, it’s just respect. It’s really, really enjoyable of tough game of good basketball."