Well, what do you know?
Stanley Pringle still wears the Gin King’s uniform.
Clearly, the bearded Ginebra guard was silent from Game 1 to 4 such that his guns weren’t firing till there was clear danger.
A 2-all deadlock in a best of seven is scary especially when your opponent, whose main gunner went injured and unable to play, overcomes the odds to square the series.
Yes, Pringle stepped in when LA Tenorio left the game with a groin injury and Scottie Thompson was getting his hands full.
With his 20 pts – four threes away from the arc – Stanley erased doubts and proved he can help win a game for Brgy. Ginebra.
Of course, Cone’s main man is still Justin Brownleee who fired from all cylinders, blocking shots, getting rebounds, penetrating the defense, netting 37 to pull Ginebra ahead 101-91 for a 3-2 bubble in the Com’s Cup best of seven Finals.
And while Andrew Nicholson could not recover in time to suit up for the Bay Area Dragons in Game 6 on Wednesday, the Gins might also miss Tenorio’s services.
We don’t know if, in desperation, coach Brian Goorjian might reactivate prolific guard Miles Powell who, by this time, may have healed a minor injury that sidelined him.
Their backs against the wall, Goorjian may have to pull all strings to negate the Gins’ blitzkrieg towards the championship.
Seven foot five Liu was doing comparatively okay defending as well as scoring but his bulk could not keep pace with the 48-minute running game Cone is employing against the Dragons.
If it had not been for his long international experience as a noted bench tactician, Goorjian – who steered Australia to a bronze medal finish in the 2021 Tokyo Olympics – would probably have thrown in the towel.
Admirably, if you now assess how the Dragons are shifting their on-court strategy by letting his small guards and forwards take the scoring cudgels which, unmistakably, gave Ginebra the scare.
Blankely, Lam, Yang, Reid Ewing and another chinky-eyed player whose name escapes me, are keeping Thompson et al busy because they were able to contribute points.
This tactic marginally rendered big boys Christian Standhardinger and Japeth Aguilar out of the playing equation on defense which affords Liu enough space to grab offensive rebounds.
Cone will, by all means, stress to JB and company to focus on game 6 like there is no tomorrow.
Never mind if the Tinyente cannot play. Pringle is available..
If, by a twist of fate, the Dragons are able to make it 3-3, the momentum may shift to the visitors side. With this circumstance developing, Nicholson may then be forced to take off his street clothes.
I suppose the 21,000 plus Ginebra crowd won’t like to read what I am writing. Bilog ang bola, mga pare ko. Cheers! (Email feedback to email@example.com.) GOD BLESS THE PHILIPPINES!