Uichico downplays strong showing as TNT faces Ginebra in battle of top teams

While the top two teams face off in a no-bearing match on Sunday, TNT coach Jong Uichico is more concerned with seeing his team play with consistency when the Katropa clash with the surging Barangay Ginebra Kings in Binan, Laguna.

So far, the Katropa have played with consistency on both ends of the floor en route to posting a tournament-best 9-1 record.

“Personally, I want (to see) consistency in the team, which we didn’t have in the past two conferences.  Now it will depend on where that consistency will bring us,” Uichico told FOX Sports on Saturday.

TNT will be facing the second-running Barangay Ginebra Kings (8-2) in their 6:45 p.m. match at the Alonte Sports Center in Binan.

A win by the Kings would propel them to the top spot since the winner-over-the-other-rule will be put into effect in case of a tie, along with a no. 1 seeding that could possibly mean facing Commissioner’s Cup playoff tormentors Rain or Shine or the dangerous Phoenix Fuel Masters. ROS and Phoenix will still be contesting the no. 8 seed in a playoff early next week.

Uichico recognized the fact that the Kings are playing very well in the Governors Cup since taking two quick quarterfinal exits in the first two conferences.

And he feels Ginebra’s free-wheeling offense, a system that’s opposed to the structured triangle offense of Tim Cone, has a lot to do with the Kings’ resurgence.

It’s really obvious that they (Kings) are really moving well, somehow and freedom-oriented,” noted Uichico, who incidentally was the last coach to guide Ginebra to the 2008 Fiesta Conference championship.

“Everybody sees that. Though pareho lang naman, but it’s just more freedom, not too structured in their system.”

Uichico though isn’t inclined at worrying too much about Ginebra, saying he’s far more concerned with his team, which is playing with great grit and determination this conference.

“I think personally, it’s the players accountability (that caused the team’s consistency this conference). Ako wala namang ginawa na different but I think they brought it upon themselves since the past 2 conferences, the team and the individuals didn’t do well so they are more focused and serious to try to strive for that goal (of winning the championship),” explained the nine-time PBA champion coach. – Richard Dy

Follow this writer on Twitter: @richava

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