If you listen closely, you can still hear the sobbing of Star fans after that Game 7.
As a proud Kangkonatic, I take it as a personal crusade to defend Barangay Ginebra.
Let’s get this out of the way: No matter what I say, Ginebra haters will die and rot in their stinking graves believing that each of the Kings’ trophies is tainted with the white-hand mark of whichever commissioner is ruling at the time (tang*** mo Narvasa, kamukha mo si Kokey!), or were handed to them by their charitable sister teams through the “Sagip Kapamilya Foundation” (pero pag talo, iyak ng iyak).
So, haters, you can already go to hell for all I care.
Ginebra’s victory in the last SemiClasico is a reflection of how Tim Cone works. And if you (falling) Star fans and Ginebra haters stop bitching for a bit, you’ll see it too. Wipe the salty tears from your eyes and the smelly snot from your noses and just look back at how San Mig Coffee Mixers played during the James Yap-Tim Cone era.
Much like Ginebra now, the ball weaves through the half-court, whizzing past, over, and under the reach of defenders, finding cracks to expose and take advantage of, ultimately ending in a shot that will force defenders to commit fouls. Remember how in the deciding game of the 2014 Commissioner’s Cup Finals wherein the San Mig Coffee Super Mixers, then-coached by Cone, made fools out of TNT and coaxed out 41 free throws from the Texters while the Mixers conceded only two foul shots?
O NAKALIMUTAN NYO UN DAHIL HINDI GINEBRA GUMAWA?
You can argue that the Texters relied too much on three-pointers and took 33 attempts from the arc, but who can blame them if they are against Cone’s complex interior defense?
The way I see it – Cone’s schemes were to force Star guards into making drives to the midrange area, before closing his passing lanes to anywhere (askPaul Lee as he is still having nightmares about this). Star’s best offense came from Marc “Cooking Sakuragi” Pingris from the post, where he found shooters for kickouts and Rafi Reavis for drop passes. Allein Mabagal’s streaky outside shooting helps too, which is why he caused a lot of chaos when he got hot in the 3rdquarter of that Game 7.
But then on one play, he got fouled (daw) by Sol Mercado and terribly missed his foul shots, then he got PISO’d again by rookie Kevin Ferrer. If one swing can change a baseball game, two blocks in basketball can disturb one’s flow.
Question: Weren’t the Star Hotshots called the Golden Star Warriors this Conference, alluding to their hot three-point shooting in the regular season? If the real Warriors can blow a 3-1 series lead to King LeBron (I still hate you, btw), how come you cannot accept that the Yellow State ColdDogs can blow a 0-2 series lead to 15 Kings? (Yes, Treant Protector Echo De Guzman included).
There are three main reasons why the Kings won the last Clasico:
- Cone is the master of adjustments, starting Sol Mercado and Jervy Cruz after falling down 0-2 in the series. In Games 3 to 7, Cone screwed a silencer on the Lethal Weapon, limiting him to single digit scoring, except in Game 5.
- Joe Devance just pumped Ginebrenaline (trademark?) into his veins and played through a plantar fasciitis injury. If you want to know how much that hurts, my mother, who had the same injury, cringe whenever she puts pressure on her foot while walking. Imagine how many gallons of man-tears JDV swiped from his eyes while he was running up and down the court, sinking daggers into the wailing hearts of apron-cladded, ladle-bearing Starwagonners.
- LA Tenorio and Sol found their range. The Kings shot 9 of 17 from deep in that Game 7, with LA and Sol contributing for seven of those. Like what I said in my first post in my blog (iskramboledegg.wordpress.com), Ginebra’s lack of outside shooting is their one glaring weakness in the regular season, and in that rubber match, they obliterated it (the weakness, not Star, for stupid fockers).
This is why Barangay Ginebra truly deserved the SemiClasico win.
Saying otherwise is discrediting the sacrifices of the players and the genius of Tim Cone, thereby discrediting his achievements with his other teams, making San Mig Coffee’s and Alaska’s Grand Slam and Cone’s other championships obsolete (along with a fourth of PBA’s history of championships).
Pero kung ung sa Ginebra lang hindi nyo matanggap, isa lang ibig sabihin non:
Hater kayo at di nyo matanggap na maKangKong ng Kangkong. Sakit ba?
This is like the situation where the girl you used to tease in your childhood became hot when you grew up – you’re in denial right now. Because for the last eight years, the team that got ridiculed is now the team tasked with Mission Impossible 3: stopping the Kraken, the Spiderman and Iceman from winning three straight All-Filipino Cups, while your team is now in Boracay, cooking Star Hotdogs with Star Margarine as oil while drinking GSM Blue and playing cards with Calvin Abueva. In short, #nganga
Stop watching the PBA because no one is forcing you. If you can only watch and “support” while your team is winning and then cry if your team is not, you are not a true supporter of the league or the show (whatever floats your boat). You are a wagoner.
To my fellow Ginebra fans, and to Mark Caguioa too.
Let us embrace the Kangkong mark, because it was true, and time will come when we will struggle to win games again, hopefully not in the next ten years. But it will come and the Kangkong slur will get dug out from the haters’ dusted treasure chest of memes and will be flung straight to our faces like how the PBA forced us to listen to Arwind Santos’ Bagyo.
So let us just take pride in being KangKong, because it will irk the haters more if the KangKings win games and postpone their hatorade party again and again.