By the Numbers: The 3 Ugly Truths Behind Ginebra's Collapse in Game 2

Electrifying D Won Game 2

Because you cannot win without playing DEFENSE

Greg Slaughter Defended well

Just when everyone thought that the defending champions would take a commanding 2-0 series lead in front of a favorable crowd in Batangas, the Talk N Text KaTropa immediately went to work right after the tip-off, built a double-digit lead in the early goings of the game, kept their composure intact when the Gin Kings were able to make a comeback and even momentarily took the lead and in the end, the KaTropa were able to hang onto a 103-93 Game 2 victory over the Barangay Ginebra Gin Kings which knotted the series at 1-1. 

Had TNT lost the game last night, they would be in a  tight situation coming into tomorrow's Game 3 because it would mean that they need to win 3 straight games against the same team just to get to the Finals of the PBA Governors' Cup. Fortunately, the players of Coach Nash Racela did many things right, things that they didn't do in the series opener that put them in a better position to challenge the champs.

Kelly Williams shot
Kelly Williams had 8 defensive rebounds, 2 steals and a block in Game 2. (Photo by the PBA Media Bureau)

While field goal shooting was an area where both the KaTropa and the Gin Kings were equal, shooting 44% and 46% in the field respectively, it was the defense of Talk N Text that gave them an 18-point lead and consequently, defense won them the game in the 4th quarter.

The Numbers that Won Game 2:

19 Forced (and Unforced) Turnovers

Simply put it this way, folks. If you force your opponents into making those costly turnovers especially during the playoffs, it means that your team's defense is working to perfection. And that was what exactly happened last night. The KaTropa were pressing the Gin Kings at every turn and that pressing defense forced 19 turnovers by the Gin Kings which Talk N Text converted into 23 points. Greg Slaughter had 5 of those turnovers as he was constantly defended by two defenders every time he gets in the post. Classic defense. Still effective. And as a result of their frustrations, there were noticeable times when the Gin Kings threw bad passes. Effect: Unforced turnovers. Another effect: 20 fastbreak points for TNT.

14 Points for Ginebra in the First Quarter

If anything, having a good start in any basketball game is essential to victory and if we are to look back in Game 1, the Gin Kings scored 31 points in the first 12 minutes of the game. Last night, it was the KaTropa who scored 31 points in the first frame but unlike in the first game where they were able to score 22 points, Talk N Text, this time around, defended well early on and limited Ginebra to 14 first quarter points. 

10 Steals

Let's face it. The Gin  Kings are a talented team with the most winningest coach in the history of the PBA in Tim Cone. But that, however, does not make them a perfect team and the KaTropa made sure that the rest of the PBA saw that as they were able to steal the ball from Ginebra ball handlers, 10 TIMES. There were 3 players who had 2 steals each in Game 2, namely Troy Rosario, Kelly Williams and, Roger Pogoy who scored 14 points off the bench. Glen Rice Jr. the league's leader in steals per game this conference, had 1 steal.

Here is the game 2 recap TNT vs Ginebra.

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