Brgy. Ginebra wrapped up its best-of-five series against NorthPort with three consecutive wins capped by a 120-107 victory in Game 4 to advance to the championship round of the 2019 PBA Governors’ Cup.
After opening their semifinal affair with the crowd darlings on a resounding 34-point win, 124-90, the Batang Pier lost the next three games by an average of 22 points to ultimately put an end to their phenomenal run which saw the Mikee Romero-owned franchise dispose of the top-seeded NLEX Road Warriors in the quarterfinal round despite being short-handed.
Brgy. Ginebra coach Tim Cone admitted that he was relieved that the series did not go the distance as he knows fully well that the Batang Pier are capable of pulling off a king-sized upset.
“They came out and played a heck of a first game and it was quite frightening to see how good they can be in that first game. It kinda shook us a little bit. We gained our bearings and started to play with the way we wanted to play,” said Cone shortly after the series-clinching match.
The lopsided win over the Gin Kings in Game 1 plus the way they overcame the twice-to-beat advantage of the Road Warriors in the quarterfinals is an indication of how dangerous the Batang Pier are.
“It’s good that we didn’t have to go to a fifth game. I’m just so happy that we didn’t have to go to a fifth game. We are taking about it in the locker room. This team was in the twice-to-beat situation earlier and they showed great character in beating NLEX in that first game. They dominated them and then coming back and win that triple overtime game which is going to go down as one of the greatest PBA games of all time. We knew they have the character in them to play us,” said Cone.
“In a series like this, when you are playing every other day, it’s a best-of-five and the semis is every other day, depth becomes very important and we obviously have the depth that they didn’t have especially with the injuries of Sol and Kevin. Those guys would have made big impacts, Sol on the defensive end and Kevin helping the space the floor. Of course, Bolick, we all know how good he is. But we were just able to wear them down with our depth throughout the series,” added the league’s most decorated mentor.