(Photo by the PBA Media Bureau)
Leo Isaac says the Elites are "STRONGLY MOTIVATED" to beat Ginebra
For any team to be able to beat a well-coached, a well-oiled team like the Barangay Ginebra Gin Kings, you will need more than just a talented team. You will need a disciplined team because you are talking about a Tim Cone-coached Ginebra squad that has won the last two of the Governors' Cup championships so you'll definitely need all the help you can get especially if you're a mid-field team like the Blackwater Elites.
According to Head Coach Leo Isaac, the Elites are STRONGLY MOTIVATED to start 2018 by handling the Gin Kings their first win of the conference. Coming off a victory over the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters to end their 2017 campaign, the Elites are hoping to move to 2-1 record after tonight's game although Blackwater knows for themselves that they are faced with a daunting task of defending the powerful Twin Towers of Greg Slaughter and Japeth Aguilar.
Question: Can the Elites actually beat the Gin Kings fair and square?
Realistically and statistically, the odds are against the Elites but if we are to look at the performance of their notable players against Rain or Shine, you will see that Blackwater MIGHT have a shot at taking down the Gin Kings. Why? Mac Belo played one of his best games since coming into the PBA after leading his team with 25 points which included 5 for 9 shooting from the three-point line. Mike Digregorio added 23 points while rookie Reymar Jose totaled 12 points. Allein Maliksi had 10 points, 10 rebounds, and 5 assists although he went 3 for 12 from the field while coming off the bench.
Key to victory for the Elites: Bench Production
While Blackwater has a continuously re-emerging Mac Belo plus a promising rookie in Reymar Jose, the Elites must work as a complete unit meaning the bench players must produce more than 17 points- the numbers they had against Rain or Shine. And they won despite 53 points from the bench of Rain or Shine.
You can't just rely on your starters to carry your team and save the day. Especially not against Ginebra.