Import Othyus Jeffers said Barangay Ginebra’s 4th-quarter meltdown on Wednesday against Tropang TNT boiled down to the Kings’ failure to play defense for 48 minutes.
Emerging from the dugout over an hour after Ginebra’s 107-92 beating at the hands of TNT, Jeffers said the only way to bring back the smile on their faces is when they start playing defense.
“Everything that happened tonight has to go to the same thing, play defense. Once we get back to it, hopefully it puts back the smile on our face,” Jeffers told sports scribes after the game.
While Jeffers went hard as usual to finish the game with 29 points and 16 rebounds, Ginebra just got bludgeoned in the last period after allowing TNT to score 34 points.
Ginebra was able to stand toe to toe with the defending PBA Commissioner’s Cup champion through 3 quarters after engaging the Tropa to a 73-all count, entering the 4th period.
But TNT import David Simon took over in the 4th canto, banging in 12 of his 30 points during that stretch, while playing solid defense against Ginebra’s big man Greg Slaughter to spark the Tropa’s endgame blitz.
Slaughter, who is coming off a 28-point effort in the team’s win over Phoenix over a week ago, was held down to just 12 by TNT.
“We’ve got to play some defense. Because Ginebra this whole conference, when we lose, we didn’t always play defense,” he said.
“And we picked a fine time this year not to play.”
The loss dropped Ginebra into joint 4th spot with TNT at 5-4.
But the road to a top 2 finish won’t be easy because the Kings will be up against powerhouse San Miguel Beermen this Sunday, before winding up their elimination-round assignment against league leader Meralco Bolts on April 13. – By Richard Dy
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