By: Rey Joble
Barangay Ginebra’s legion of fans has always played a big role for the team – and particularly in the team’s resurgence in the Oppo PBA Philippine Cup.
Coming from the seventh-seed after the elimination round, Ginebra had to beat No. 2 team Alaska twice in two games before taking on the hottest team in the league – the Star Hotshots – in a tough best-of-seven series where the Kings needed to overcome a 0-2 deficit en route to the PBA Finals.
The fans have kept Ginebra rallying through tough times but they were hardly a factor for the Kings as the reigning back-to-back champion San Miguel Beermen dominated in Game 1.
“We wanted to pounce on them really quick and got the crowd out of the game,” Ross told sportswriters. “That’s the main goal, to get on our game fast and try to get the crowd out and sustain.”
After Ginebra took a 2-1 early in the game, SMB responded with 16 unanswered points as part of a 33-9 start in the first quarter.
By setting the tone early, Lassiter believes the crowd was taken aback a bit.
“That’s always a bonus. They got into it, but not much. We kinda expected the crowd would be a factor, but we came out focused, we played our game and didn’t mind the other factors,” added Lassiter.