After two months of grueling and intense basketball, Barangay Ginebra came away with the title after winning a very tough Game 5, 82-78, over TNT in the Finals of the 2020 Philippine Cup.
For the first time since the 2006-07 Philippine Cup conference, the Kings are once on top after a 13-year drought in the All-Filipino conference.
In a series that saw the Tropang Giga plagued with injuries to key players, the Kings kept pressing on and continued to push and finished the series in just five games.
Game 5 saw Japeth Aguilar put up a career-high 32 points along with his nine rebounds. Stanley Pringle showcased his clutch genes as he made crucial baskets one after the other in the latter part of the game even though he finished with a relatively modest 13 points, four rebounds and six assists.
In the end, the Finals Most Valuable Player award was given to LA Tenorio, who orchestrated the offense of the Kings and the most crucial plays. For the series he averaged 13.6 points and 6.2 assists.
This is Tenorio’s first All-Filipino Cup title, and his sixth total for his career.
Interestingly, the last time that the Barangay Ginebra won the PH Cup, it was still the era of the Fast and the Furious duo in Jayjay Helterbrand and Mark Caguioa leading the way for the red squad, and they backed up by Eric Menk and Ronald Tubid.
In that series, the Kings defeated the extremely talented San Miguel team led by legends like Danny Ildefonso, Dondon Hontiveros, Olsen Racela and with a backup point guard in LA Tenorio. The game needed all seven games to determine who will take the title in a tightly contested series.
As for legendary coach Tim Cone, after winning his 23rd title for his legendary career, he’s now the winningest coach in Ginebra history surpassing the great Robert Jaworski, who had four under his belt.
“I did not know that, what an achievement. Just to be mentioned with the greats, Baby Dalupan, Sonny Jaworski. It just gives me goosebumps and I’ve been fortunate to have that opportunity,” he stated during the post-game interview.
Aside from surpassing Jaworski, Cone also has a chance to win the third-grandslam for his career as the Kings are primed to make a run at multiple championships next season – assuming that they are ready to take on the San Miguel Beermen who will be coming back with a vengeance once June Mar Fajardo heals up.
The future is still in the air, but it looks bright for the Kings. They’ll be looking forward to next year.
Did you expect the Barangay Ginebra to win? Sound off below in the comment section!