Sports

Fans in the stands makes all the difference for Ginebra


John Pinto reacts after scoring three points in Ginebra's win over TNT.

John Pinto reacts after scoring three points in Ginebra’s win over TNT. PBA . IMAGES

MANILA, Philippines – Ginebra drew inspiration from the ecstatic fans in the stands to live another day in the quarterfinals of the PBA Governors’ Cup 2022.

Gin Kings coach Tim Cone said their passionate fans from 7,091 attendees – the largest in a PBA game amid the pandemic – made a huge difference in getting them through. double beat advantage TNT with a 104-92 win.

“It makes a huge difference for us, without a doubt. They show up in every game and they cheer us on. Whether we were uplifted or disappointed, they continued to cheer us on. Truly a special team,” Cone said in the post-match interview.

“It lends us, it really does. From a coaching standpoint, I didn’t hear much until I watched the replay and I heard it on TV because I was trying to narrow my focus on what we were doing. But I know the players feel it.”

Ginebra, relying on Justin Brownlee, Scottie Thompson and Japeth Aguilar, received huge cheers from the fans to take a 40-21 lead in the second half.

And even TNT reduced it to just one by the end of the third season, 71-70, fans kept cheering until Brownlee led the Gin Kings crucial 10-2 race to breathe 100-90 with 1 :21 left in the match on the way to tie another game for a semi-final berth.

“Sometimes I watch our boys, and they’re playing at such a high level, and I wonder, ‘Why are they playing at such a high level?’ Yes, it’s the crowd. The crowd is forcing them to play at that level,” Cone said. “It’s really been a boon for us, and we’ve really missed them over the last couple of years. We really, really have. ”

Although they nullified TNT’s vital advantage, Cone says there’s nothing to celebrate as they prepare for a tougher game on Sunday.

“They’ve had a huge stake on this series, and now we’ve halved that. They are still the favorites,” he said. “The second one is a lot harder, so that’s our program at the moment, trying to figure out how to get to the next one.”

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