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Tiebreaker Times


Gab Banal glad that Go for Gold did not let up this time around

Gab Banal was all smiles as his Go for Gold Scratchers dismantled Jeff Viernes and the Che’lu Bar and Grill Revellers to even the 2018 PBA D-League Foundation Cup Finals at a game apiece, Tuesday evening at the Ynares Arena, Pasig City.

What makes Banal – who had 33 points on seven treys – proud of their 105-81 victory is the fact that the Scratchers did not melt down this time around, unlike in Game One last week where they lost grip of a 14-point lead and bowed out, 96-100.

‘Actually every timeout, nung halftime, end of the third quarter and end of the fourth quarter, I reminded the guys we were up last game and then we collapsed. We weren’t thinking about that, focused na kami,” said Banal, who was the 22nd overall pick in the 2014 Draft.

“We started to take care of the ball, kumbaga it’s possession by possession. We can’t afford to have turnovers like in Game One (19), and that’s what we did. We ended the game strong, which we didn’t do the last game,” added the 27-year-old swingman.

“That’s basically the story.”

Aside from limiting their turnovers, it was also their shooting that made wonders for Go for Gold. From shooting just 47 percent from the field back in the Finals’ opener, the Scratchers shot an excellent 54 percent this time.

And the highlight of their shooting was their performance from beyond the arc, as they converted 15 of the 29 shots they launched.

“Simula’t sapul, entering the season, [coach] Charles [Tiu] wanted to form a three-point shooting team, an offensive team. To be honest with you, we don’t really practice our defense, so our defense is our offense.

“We just made shots, we made open shots. That’s our weapon. That’s the identity of the team,” pointed out the 6-foot-3 Banal, one of the favored candidates for the conference’s Most Valuable Player honors.

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Oftentimes on the sidelines. Forever a student of the game. Morayta-bred.

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