With Barangay Ginebra taking down an injury-depleted Talk ‘N Text side on Sunday, the league’s most popular ball club wins the semifinal series, 3-2 en route to booking the last Finals berth.
Now, focus shifts on the Gin Kings’ best-of-five championship versus Alaska.
The race-to-three wins Finals series begins on Wednesday at the Smart Aranea Coliseum.
I remember that vividly because that was the first time I covered a PBA Finals series, being a new PBA beat reporter for the Manila Times.
Ginebra was then carrying the name Gordon’s Gin with playing-coach Sonny Jaworski calling the shots for the crowd favorites at the sidelines.
Alaska then had Tim Cone.
Sixteen years later, both squads are back in the Finals.
Same team, different sets of players and coaching staff, but one goal – win the Commissioner’s Cup title.
Barangay Ginebra weathered a serious storm at the start of the conference.
Coaching change from Siot Tanquingcen to Alfrancis Chua. A 0-4 start under first import Herbert Hill. Entered the quarterfinals as a seventh seed, but mustered all its might with the help of the Ginebra fans to knock out second-seeded Rain or Shine to reach the semis.
Now, the Gin Kings gave everything they’ve got, resulting to a 3-2 semis series victory over the Tropang Texters.
Alaska, on the other hand, is a completely different team. Pretty consistent this conference after finishing the elims with an 11-3 record. Knocked out Air21 in the quarterfinals, before dethroning San Mig Coffee Saturday night to reach the Finals for the first time since the winning the 2010 Fiesta Conference.
Barangay Ginebra versus Alaska- should be a very exciting championship series.
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