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RCadayona (Pang-masa) - October 12, 2017 - 4:00pm

Bolts vs Gins

MANILA, Philippines — Alam na ni Meralco import Allen Durham ang estilo at kakayahan ng nagdedepensang Barangay Ginebra matapos ang kanilang championship series noong 2016 PBA Governor’s Cup.

“This year I know what to expect, we know what to expect,” sabi ng 2016 PBA Best Import awardee.

Ang buzzer-beating three-point shot ni import Justin Brownlee laban kay Durham sa Game Six ang nagbigay sa Ginebra ng kampeonato noong nakaraang taon.

Bubuksan ng Gin Kings at ng Bolts ang kanilang best-of-seven titular showdown para sa 2017 PBA Governor’s Cup ngayong alas-7 ng gabi sa Quezon Convention Center sa Lucena City.

Isinara ng Ginebra sa 3-1 ang kanilang best-of-five semifinals showdown ng TNT Katropa para pumasok sa kanilang pang-24 championship appearance at tatargetin ang ika-10 titulo.

Winalis naman ng Meralco ang Star, 3-0 patungo sa kanilang ikalawang sunod na Finals stint sa season-ending conference.

Sinabi ni two-time PBA Grand Slam champion coach Tim Cone na magiging ‘defensive struggle’ para sa Gin Kings ang muling makasagupa ang Bolts sa PBA Finals.

“It’s gonna be tough, it’s gonna be rough,” sabi ng 59-anyos na si Cone, nasa kanyang ika-31 Finals stint at hangad makopo ang pang-20 PBA championship.

“I just think that we couldn’t have picked a more high quality opponent, or a better defensive team,” dagdag pa nito.

Kung ang Ginebra ang ikalawang best offensive team sa komperensya, ang Meralco naman ang No. 1 defensive squad.

“Both teams are very good defensive teams,” ani one-time PBA Grand Slam champion mentor Norman Black. “So I expect this to be a defensive struggle for how many games it will go.”

Tinatarget ng 59-anyos na si Black ang kanyang pang-siyam na PBA championship, ang huli ay nakamit niya noong 2013 PBA Philippine Cup bilang mentor ng TNT Katropa.

Inaasahan ni Durham na magiging emosyunal at pisikal ang Gin Kings kagaya nang sinibak nito ang Tropang Texters, 115-105 sa Game Four ng kanilang semifinals duel kung saan napatalsik si import Glen Rice, Jr. sa 1:41 minuto ng first period.  

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