IT could be a Ginebra night as far as the coronation of the Best Import and the Best Player of the Conference is concerned.
Justin Brownlee and Scottie Thompson are the top favorites for these two individual awards to be handed out shortly before Game Four of the PBA Governors' Cup Finals.
Game time is at 6 p.m. at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
The question is whether the Gin Kings could carry the triumphant moment, the conquest and celebration over into the game.
They must; they have to or they would allow the Meralco Bolts to move on cusp of a dream first crown with an overwhelming 3-1 lead in Chapter 4 of their storied Governors' Cup finals rivalry.
The Bolts have never experienced such an advantage. They did enjoy a similar 2-1 lead in 2016 but then they were swept aside by the Gin Kings in the next three games in a sorry downfall for coach Norman Black and his then Allen Durham-led crew.
Tony Bishop and company are bent on writing a different story.
And knowing the fighting capability of the gritty Gin Kings, the Bolts' mantra is to stay together and fight hard together.
They did just that the last time out, overwhelming the Kings in the homestretch to pull off an 83-74 win for the 2-1 lead in the race-to-four series.
The Bolts dragged the Kings to a low-scoring duel, tightening up on defense the toughest in the crunch thus leaving Ginebra scoreless in the last 5:21 of the game.
Ginebra coach Tim Cone said his troops panicked, acknowledging the effort of the Bolts but at the same time raising the issue of fatigue.
"We panicked down the stretch and we obviously didn't hit shots," said the Ginebra coach. "We got a little bit selfish and we're not moving the ball.
"It took a lot to win Game 2, we just didn't have enough down the stretch in Game 3. And I worried about that from the beginning of the game," he added.
The pivotal Game 4 comes after a two-day breather. The question is which team did their assignment better.
"Kapag kalaban talaga Meralco ganoon talaga, parang chess match parati. Nag-adjust sila (in Game 3), ngayon, it's time for us to adjust," said Ginebra chief playmaker LA Tenorio.
"(Ginebra) Coach Tim (Cone) is one of the greatest. I know he's gonna come back with a new game plan and see what they can do to adjust," said Meralco's Chris Newsome. "So we got to be ready for the next one." (SB)(PBA)
(Photo credits to: PBA)