This article was updated regarding Ray Parks’ injury.
The Barangay Ginebra drew first blood in the 2020 PBA Philippine Cup Finals, but it’s still a long way to go before they can think of lifting the trophy.
Will the TNT Tropang Giga bounce back? Or, will the Barangay get to a 2-0 series lead?
Catch this game live on December 2 at 6:00 pm, Manila time.
TNT Tropang Giga (0-1)
The Tropang Giga are back to the drawing board after suffering a 100-94 defeat in Game 1 of the 2020 PBA Philippine Cup Finals to Ginebra. The loss also reflected against the spread for TNT, as the team was the one-point chalk heading into that contest.
As expected, it was Bobby Ray Parks Jr., who led the way for the Tropang Giga, who got 20 points on 7-of-19 shooting from the former NU Bulldogs star. Parks entered the series with a sigh of relief, knowing he won’t have to deal with Calvin Abueva again for the rest of the conference, so it’s kind of a surprise that he didn’t shoot well, though that’s also a credit to the defense of the Barangay.
Unfortunately, just like in Game 2 in the semifinals against the Fuel Masters, Parks fouled out and wasn’t able to contribute when it mattered most. In any case, he needs RR Pogoy and Jayson Castro to be more efficient in helping him carry the team’s offense.
Additionally, Parks is doubtful for Game 2 due to a left calf strain that he tweaked again during Game 1.
Pogoy and Castro continue to struggle from the field, combining for 11-of-30 shooting for 31 points in Game 1. At this point, you just have to think that those two are due for big games, and the hope for TNT is that it will come on Wednesday after two full days of rest.
One positive takeaway from Game 1 for TNT is the Hugnatan-esque resurgence of two-time Best Player of the Conference winner Jay Washington, who has averaged 12.5 points on 60 percent shooting over the last two games.
Barangay Ginebra San Miguel Kings (1-0)
The three-guard attack of the Barangay was simply too much for TNT in Game 1, and don’t expect head coach Tim Cone to shy away from starting LA Tenorio, Stanley Pringle, and Scottie Thompson again in Game 2.
Pringle came up big for Ginebra, as he poured in 24 points to go with seven rebounds and seven assists. Tenorio had a double-double of 12 points and 10 assists, while Thompson had 15 points and nine rebounds.
Tenorio, in particular, shredded TNT’s lousy defense, which was a big reason why he had so many assists.
Ginebra’s guards had fun breaking down TNT’s defense. Japeth Aguilar and Arvin Tolentino were able to put up 25 and 14 points, respectively, mostly because of open looks created by Tenorio.
So far, it doesn’t look like TNT has an answer to Ginebra’s guard play, but the Barangay will still have to coax production from its bench that mustered just 10 points in Game 1 against the 24 markers put up by the Tropang Giga’s second unit.
Even with Ray Parks playing, he probably won’t be at 100%. That’s bad news for TNT.
Japeth Aguilar paced Ginebra in Game 1 in terms of scoring, and he’ll continue to put up impressive numbers this Wednesday as his athleticism and size bring problems anew for TNT’s defense that will keep on collapsing whenever the Barangay’s guards attack the lane. Ginebra wins Game 2, 99-94.