PBA Finals: “Blockbuster” Ginebra-Meralco trilogy tips off

Paul Lintag on Jan 07, 2020 07:26 AM
PBA Finals: “Blockbuster” Ginebra-Meralco trilogy tips off
Back at it again for the third time in four seasons, the Gin Kings and the Bolts will play for the 2019 PBA Governors’ Cup championship. (PBA)

The “blockbuster” Finals trilogy between Barangay Ginebra and Meralco will officially tip off Tuesday at the Big Dome.

Back at it again for the third time in four seasons, the Gin Kings and the Bolts will play for the 2019 PBA Governors’ Cup championship.

Ginebra won the previous two titular showdowns, relying on Justin Brownlee’s “The Shot” to win the 2016 title in six games before needing a full seven outings to take the championship in front of a record crowd in 2017.

While the Bolts refuse to call this a rivalry, it certainly looks like one and the anticipation is through the roof.

“Well I think that's what the league needs. It needs rivalries to grow the interest of the fans. Normally a rivalry means both teams are winning, and they've won both championship series so in that sense, it's not so much a rivalry,” Meralco head coach Norman Black said.

“But there is a lot of interest. They set a record for most people to attend a PBA game the last time we played in a championship series. A lot of people do come out and watch when we play against Ginebra,” he added.

A “rivalry” or not, one thing is for sure when Ginebra and Meralco play in the PBA playoffs and that’s the fact that it’s going to be a hard-fought and entertaining series.

That’s certainly the case again as another title is on the line between the Gin Kings and the Bolts.

“We've been at each other's throats for a while so that usually turns into a rivalry. We're gonna be rivals no matter what because we're on opposite ends,” Ginebra head coach Tim Cone said.

“But in terms of a rivalry, that's really dictated by the fans' interest and how the press picks it up. But for me, certainly. I've always felt that. Even though on the outside, off the court Norman and I are friends, I've always felt we've been big rivals through the years even though we don't play against each other every time. We're still big rivals. And we both like to win, both teams like to win and that usually means there's a rivalry going on,” he added.

Game 1 of the best-of-7 series will tip off at 7:00 p.m. Tuesday live from the Big Dome.


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