Game Friday (Lucena)
7 p.m. – Ginebra vs Meralco
MANILA, Philippines – Titleholder Barangay Ginebra and challenger Meralco are both highly motivated, each one raring to come out to pursue a dream championship in the 2017 PBA Governors Cup best-of-seven finale that fires off Friday at the Quezon Convention Center in Lucena.
The Kings are determined to defend the crown while the Bolts are aching to score revenge and finally win a first ever PBA crown.
It’s a rematch between two teams that have stayed on top of their game from their championship showdown last year.
PBA commissioner Chito Narvasa foresees a series that will be a great treat to the fans as he himself feels the desire of the two teams to win.
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“I’m glad to be part of this finale. You can feel the energy. I never felt this before,” said Narvasa, sitting in the middle of the two teams facing the sports media in a pre-finals press conference at Sambokojin Restaurant in Eastwood City yesterday.
The Kings and the Bolts spoke out their desire to beat one another.
“We came up short in the all-Filipino finals against San Miguel. The loss to San Miguel makes us hungry to win this,” said Ginebra coach Tim Cone.
“I’ve been here in the PBA for about 10 years, and you never know when this opportunity comes. The whole experience is great, and you have to make the most of it,” said Ginebra forward Joe Devance.
Greg Slaughter is eager to provide a push after missing their title run last year due to an injury.
Coach Norman Black and his troops, meanwhile, said they’re looking at no other options but deliver a first crown to the Meralco franchise.
“We have experienced to be in the finals last year. The next goal is to win the championship,” said Black.
“The last time around, I felt we’re taking in the moment as first timers in the finals. I thought this time around, it’s gonna be different. We’ve had the whole year to prepare for this. This time around, it’s not just being in the championship, we’re here to win it,” said Chris Newsome.
Another motivation for the Bolts is to win the crown for team governor Al Panlilio who’s been out for a while now attending a medical condition.
“At the start of the conference, we got together and talked about winning the tourney for Governor Al who’s very much involved with planning and everything in our team,” said team manager Paolo Trillo.
Jared Dillinger has a personal goal to win it for her grandmother.
“For me, it’s been a tough couples of months. My mamang is fighting to stay alive to watch the finals. If we win, it would be for her. All goes out to her,” said Dillinger.
After winning six titles with TNT KaTropa, Ranidel de Ocampo wants to have a championship ride with Meralco.
Another trade recruit Garvo Lanete and rookie Chris Tolomia make the Bolts a different team from the Meralco squad beaten by Ginebra last year.