General Admission

By December 14, 2020General Admission, Opinion

Ginebra win a soothing balm amid pandemic

By Al S. Mendoza


BARANGAY Ginebra made multiple records in winning the PBA Philippine Cup on Wednesday.

By scoring a series-clinching 82-78 Game 5 victory for a 4-1 Finals triumph over TNT Tropang Giga, Ginebra scored its first All-Filipino crown since 2007.

It was also coach Tim Cone’s fifth Philippine Cup victory, stretching his unreachable overall haul to PBA 23 titles.

With Cone’s cache of trophies, it is almost impossible in this century to either equal it or surpass it.

The second best behind Cone is 13 crowns—owned by Baby Dalupan, who had passed on.

Norman Black is third with 11 titles. He needs to score four Grand Slams in the next four years to tie Cone’s 23 crowns—granting that the PBA is able to put up three conferences each year beginning 2021.

Impossible to achieve.

That’s like saying Manny Pacquiao can still win four more world titles to add to his record eight-division championships.

Isn’t Pacquiao turning 42 on December 17?

Ginebra’s last crown gave the all-time best-selling gin its 13th championship, tying it with the defunct Crispa Redmanizers for the most number of PBA titles won.

L.A. Tenorio grabbed Finals MVP honors to cap his first All-Filipino title backstopping Ginebra, heroically bucking the effects of a recent stomach surgery.

I can imagine the brimming joy felt by Ramon S. Ang, the Chairman-CEO of SMC that owns Ginebra, Magnolia and San Miguel Beer in the PBA league.

In victory, Ginebra, the country’s undisputed basketball darling, also provided a much-needed balm to sooth the frayed nerves of a sporting world reeling from the COVID-19 health crisis.

This, even as the mammoth Ginebra fans that usually report for Gin Kings games weren’t around to witness the historic moment.

Cone, in his victory speech at the fan-empty gym, said:  “To all the Ginebra fans watching right now from their homes, this one’s for you.”

Well-said, coach.

As everybody knows, the pandemic barred the general public from the Angeles University Foundation arena in Pampanga, site of the PBA bubble since the league’s restart on October 11.

It was practically copied from the NBA bubble, which began on July 31 and ended in October, with the Los Angeles Lakers emerging champions after a 4-2 Finals victory over the fighting but outclassed Miami Heat.

LeBron James, the greatest player on the planet today, was picked the Finals MVP, leading the Lakers to their 17th NBA title to tie the Boston Celtics for the all-time record.

But still, the NBA bubble in Orlando, Florida, was not spared by the virus.

Some 48 of the 546 players tested positive in tests held Nov. 24-28 as America continues to grapple with the pandemic.

Luckily for the PBA bubble at Clark Freeport, we have yet to hear of even a single player getting infected.

With God’s grace, we pray it will stay that way till the next season unfurls—hopefully in April.

Please stay safe, fellas.

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