Abanilla savors 'special' win against Ginebra
MANILA, Philippines – Petron head coach Gee Abanilla is savoring the Blaze Boosters’ victory against Barangay Ginebra Gin Kings on Sunday at the Araneta Coliseum, saying it was “something special.”
While Abanilla has served as an assistant coach in the PBA before, Sunday night’s 101-95 win against the perennial crowd favorites was his first ever as a head coach.
“It should be something special,” Abanilla said in a PBA.ph report. “It’s my first as head coach. Of course, iba 'yan.” [http://pba.inquirer.net/29019/petron-bounces-back]
“A win is a win,” he added. “S’yempre, nakakatuwa rin naman ‘yung mga panalo ko dati. But this time there’s a lot of expectations, and it’s a big challenge.”
Abanilla replaced San Miguel legend Olsen Racela as head coach of the Blaze Boosters. They lost their first game of the Governors’ Cup, 83-89, against Meralco last Friday, but rebounded in impressive fashion.
With the game tied at 93-all after two free throws by Ginebra’s LA Tenorio, the Blaze Boosters came up with the biggest baskets of the game in crunch time to pull away.
“The players really played well defensively, and our transition offense also worked (for) us. That’s the key,” said Abanilla.
The Blaze Boosters now have a 1-1 record in the single-round robin elimination phase of the Governors’ Cup. The top eight teams at the end of the eliminations will advance to the playoffs, with the top four teams having a twice-to-beat advantage.
The loss spoiled the Ginebra debuts of new head coach Ato Agustin and high-flying big man Japeth Aguilar.