KINGS, BOLTS BRISTLING FOR REBOUND
COACH Ato Agustin is not one to dwell for too long on a blown opportunity to notch his first win at the helm of Barangay Ginebra San Miguel.
Following a spoiled debut, Agustin immediately focused on his Kings’ collision with Meralco 5 p.m. Saturday in a lone PBA Governors’ Cup offering at the Cuneta Astrodome.
Meralco is looking to rebound in a big way from a heart-breaking 89-90 loss to Barako Bull last Sunday, a couple of hours before Ginebra went down to Petron Blaze, 95-101.
For Bolts coach Ryan Gregorio, those facts alone are enough to make up for what should be another gut-wrenching game.
“Both of us are coming off a loss. Both of us are eager to bounce back. That’s what makes the matchup more interesting and challenging,” said Gregorio.
Agustin just wants to get that first ‘W.’ “Pagkatapos ng Ginebra game, Meralco agad ang focus namin,” he stated.
“Sayang yung Petron game, amin na sana iyon pero wala nang magagawa dun. Bawi na lang sa Meralco.”
And that determination should add to Gregorio’s concerns.
“Playing Ginebra is always a huge challenge. They are solid in all positions and their import is solidly built. We have to use our quickness to counter their height advantage,” offered Gregorio.
“We have to do a better job rebounding,” he added. “We were outrebounded by Barako by close to 20 (18) en route to our one-point loss.”
The respite was also used by Mario West, who arrived only on the eve of Meralco’s Friday match against Petron, to shake off jetlag. West showed the ill effects of such a condition when he missed two potential drives inside the last 17 seconds against Barako.
“We savored the six-day break, especially Mario,” related Gregorio. “Having a better compliment of sleep and rest, I am certain he will perform better with his legs back.”
Agustin is not too concerned with West, who is averaging 28 points, 10 rebounds, 4.0 assists and 3.0 steals per game. “May nakahanda kaming depensa para sa kanya,” he stated.
It is his own Kings’ game, which negated Dior Lowhorn’s 29 points and 11 rebounds versus Petron, that gnaws at Agustin more.
“Masyado kaming maraming turnovers in our first game,” he noted, referring to his team’s 23 miscues which the Boosters translated into 22 points.
Four of those turnovers came in the fourth period and partly helped Petron seal the game with an 8-2 windup.
“We need to improve our executions, limit our turnovers at magiging okay kami,” added Agustin. (NC)
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