Meralco vs Ginebra: Gin Kings to close PBA Finals in Game 6? | The Summit Express

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Meralco vs Ginebra: Gin Kings to close PBA Finals in Game 6?



MANILA, Philippines - After 8 years of waiting, the Barangay Ginebra Gin Kings are just one step away from the prestigious Governors’ Cup Championship title. But in front of them are the dangerous Meralco Bolts who will try to even the series on Game 6 on Wednesday, October 19, 2016 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum in Cubao, Quezon City.

Meralco vs Ginebra: Gin Kings to close PBA Finals series in Game 6?

Just what Coach Tim Cone has predicted 2 conferences ago, the people’s team will play in the finals and once again will be crowned as champs. As hungry as they are, the Bolts who were once at the bottom of the standings are now fighting hard to get their franchise’s first ever PBA title.

PBA Finals: Ginebra outsmarts Meralco, now just a win away from the title

By far, Gins versus Bolts series is quite interesting and entertaining one. All the games were too tight, close and most of all, heart-pounding. There was never a dull moment. Kudos to all the players for giving the fans what they really want: Pure Basketball Action.

Leading Meralco 3 games to 2, Ginebra is just a win away. Games 4 and 5 were really bitter pills to swallow for Coach Norman Black. They could’ve been in Gins’ shoes if they only managed to take care the 16 big point lead that they had on game 4. But, as many basketball pundits say: It’s Ginebra time.

What do Gins have that the Bolts don’t? Roster Depth. Even without Greg Slaughter, Kings’ bench is still deep and scary. Slaughter vacated the 5 spot position due to knee injury to Jervy Cruz and Dave Marcelo. Both are undersized centers. But, make no mistake. These guys have clean and impressive records prior to their professional stint. Cruz was once the most feared big men during his time and UAAP Season 70 MVP while Marcelo steered the San Beda Red Lions in multiple championships and was awarded with finals MVP too.

Meralco on the other hand has a more explosive import. Allen Durham, the Bobby Ray Parks Sr. awardee or Best Import is consistently bringing the hustle and energy to the Bolts. If only he could get local support from his teammates. Let’s admit it, basketball is a team sport. It will be difficult to win with just one man contributing for the team. Even Michael Jordan needed the help of Scottie Pippen, Dennis Rodman, Toni Kukoc and Steve Kerr. It’s a team effort at the end of the day.

One thing is obviously missing with Meralco. The Daredevil, Jared Dillinger. Just like Cliff Hodge, Dillinger is a type of player who will die for tha ball. A kind of player who will dive and sacrifice his body just to protect the ball. He is a legit shooter too who can be Jimmy Alapag’s co-contributor from the rainbow arc.

In all their losses, aside from Jayjay Helterbrand’s hot shooting hands, under the rim protection is one of the Bolts major problems. Japeth Aguilar almost had innumerable offensive boards and put back points. Kelly Nabong and Rabeh Al-Husaini both can’t simply guard the agile 6’9” Aguilar. How much more if Slaughter’s around?

Even when Japeth’s on the sideline, Jervy Cruz and Joe Devance were grabbing the rebounds offensively and defensively. Durham himself is rebounding machine, there’s no doubt in it. But he too gets tired.

The Fast and Furios tandem of Jayjay Helterbrand plus the court vision of LA Tenorio and newbie Scottie Thompson are really devouring the young guards of Meralco. Rookie of the Year Chris Newsome is really doing well offensively. He just needs more experience in guarding and playing one on ones with the veterans. Give the kid one more year and he’ll surely be a Calvin Abueva caliber of guard. A tough and serious workhorse on court.

With the way Ginebra veterans play, they will pretty much close the series on Wednesday. But Meralco for sure will address this concern after getting struck by the same lightning twice. Allen Durham, after having a horrific 1st half performance last game will certainly bounce back to even the series and force a rubber match come Friday.

Fearless prediction is: Meralco will level the series and a do or die Game 7 will be played on Friday. But, Ginebra will win the title. Again, it’s because of the roster depth.

WATCH: LIVESTREAM: Meralco vs Ginebra PBA Governors' Cup 2016 Finals

Regardless who wins the title, hats off to both teams for giving the fans what they truly deserve: An amazing and memorable finals.

--Joey Boy Capos, The Summit Express