MANILA, Philippines - Ginebra San Miguel coach Alfrancis Chua said yesterday he couldn’t ask more from his overachieving players who defied daunting odds to barge into the PBA Commissioner’s Cup Finals after the team started the conference 0-4 and was the No. 7 seed entering the playoffs.
Last Sunday, Ginebra formally bowed out of contention, losing to Alaska via a 3-0 sweep of the title series. The league’s most popular team survived four do-or-die knockout games, two against Rain Or Shine and two more against Talk ‘N’ Text, to arrange the Finals showdown with the Aces.
“We did everything we could but the guys were just too tired, too banged up,” said Chua. “I’m proud of them. They never gave up. We did it for the fans whose loyalty is what drives us to fight. Vernon (Macklin) hurt his right thigh in Game 5 of the Talk ‘N’ Text series and was never the same in the Finals. He had all kinds of treatment to relieve the pain and reduce the swelling. In Game 3 of the Finals, we had to rest L. A. (Tenorio) and Vernon at the same time and that gave momentum to Alaska. L. A. hurt his knee and thigh in a collision with (Calvin) Abueva. Kerby (Raymundo) was exhausted, too.”
Chua confirmed a report that Ginebra considered replacing Macklin if the series went to a Game 4. “It was obvious Vernon couldn’t attack like he used to,” said Chua. “We really appreciate what management considered but in the end, we decided to go with Vernon, no matter what. He took us to the Finals and didn’t want to quit so he went out there to battle. His body wasn’t responding anymore, he was playing by instinct. That’s the kind of warrior he is.”...
Their never-say-die spirit was not enough to complete their Cinderella run as their bodies did not cooperate.
“It’s a wonderful ride from 0-4 to Finals. Pagod na talaga eh,” Chua said. “Siguro kung yung championship eh five minutes, five minutes lang, kaya pa namin.”...
The Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) has a lot of reasons to smile these days, especially with the record-breaking turnout from the recently concluded PBA Commissioners Cup which the Alaska Aces won handily via rare sweep over crowd-darling Ginebra San Miguel.
“The PBA is on the upswing because the fans are taking a second look at what the league offers, which is top-notch sports competition and entertainment” PBA Commissioner said when asked about the record turnout.
Although the final scores seemed lopsided, the results of games 1 and 2 did not seem to alter the record turnout of 23,346 fans who trooped to the Smart-Araneta Coliseum last May 19....
Game Three of the series last Sunday drew a 6.4 average minute rating according to National Urban Television Audience Measurement data from Nielsen Media. That translated into an average share of 22.4 percent for the evening.
“Our best in recent history,” said PBA media bureau chief Willie Marcial....
But as the Kings’ head coach Alfrancis Chua looked back on the conference that was, he could only speak of the positives.
“First of all, gusto kong magpasalamat sa fans hindi sila sumuko [I want to thank the fans because they didn't give up]imagine we had 24,000 who showed,” he said of the 23,436 crowd at the Araneta Coliseum -setting a new PBA record. “I’m so proud of my team, my players it was a wonderful ride from 0-4.”...
|Team History (Last 10 Conferences)|
|2012-2013 Commissioners' Cup||12||12||0.500||Runner-up|
|2012-2013 Philippine Cup||8||9||0.471||6th|
|2011-2012 Governors' Cup||9||6||0.600||3rd|
|2011-2012 Commissioners' Cup||8||6||0.571||3rd|
|2011-2012 Philippine Cup||9||7||0.562||6th|
|2010-2011 Governors' Cup||8||5||0.615||4th|
|2010-2011 Commissioners' Cup||12||10||0.545||Runner-up|
|2010-2011 Philippine Cup||14||9||0.609||3rd|
|2009-2010 Fiesta Conference||12||12||0.500||5th|
|2009-2010 Philippine Cup||15||13||0.536||4th|