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Desire beats fatigue as Ginebra takes Game 1

The hunger for victory trumped fatigue as Barangay Ginebra outlasted TNT to take an early lead in the PBA Philippine Cup finals.

Ginebra hardly looked like it got worn out by its five-game semifinals series against Meralco after hacking out a 100-94 overtime win over TNT in Game 1 of the best-of-seven finals affair.

"The legs came from just pure desire. They just really have a great desire – both teams I felt just had great desire," said Ginebra head coach Tim Cone.

Just like against Meralco where it banked on a Scottie Thompson game-winner to win their do-or-die duel, Ginebra needed a clutch bucket to pull through against TNT.

Ginebra trailed 90-92 with 10 seconds left in regulation before rookie Arvin Tolentino sank a layup that sent the game into overtime.

In the extra period, veteran LA Tenorio took over and dished out the key assists as Ginebra outscored TNT, 8-2, to secure the victory.

Cone said Ginebra simply wanted to win, considering that this season is the team's best chance to capture the crown jewel of all PBA championships for the first time since 2007.

While Ginebra has found success in the import conferences with Justin Brownlee in the fold, it has not won the Philippine Cup title under Cone.

"We cannot underestimate how important the All-Filipino crown is. We want it, they want it, and I think we showed that," Cone said.

Cone, though, expects a fightback from TNT, which seeks to end a five-year championship drought.

"They got a lot of weapons over there, they got a lot of different ways to play the game. This is just the first game," Cone said.

"There is going to be a lot of back-and-forth in terms of everything – in terms of scoring, in terms of adjustments, and see how fresh people can stay through the rigors of a seven-game series." – Rappler.com

Delfin Dioquino

Delfin Dioquino dreamt of being a PBA player, but he did not have the skills to make it. So he pursued the next best thing to being an athlete – to write about them. He took up journalism at the University of Santo Tomas and joined Rappler as soon as he graduated in 2017.

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