Coach’s pep talk works wonders for Mandaue Ballers

By: Jonas Rey N. Panerio May 10,2019 - 06:55 PM

Coach Gary Cortes huddles his Mandaue team in one of the timeouts during Game 2 of the Governor’s Cup Finals. CDN Digital photo | Brian J. Ochoa

Cebu City, Philippines—For a moment there, all appeared lost for the Mandaue City Ballers as they went down by as many as 16 points to the defending champions Talisay City Aquastars in an atrocious first half of Game Two of the 2019 Governor’s Cup finals that saw them turn the ball over a mind-blowing 19 times.

Faced with a 14-point halftime deficit, 32-46, and already down 0-1 in the best-of-three finals series, Mandaue City’s fiery head coach Gary Cortes implored his team at halftime, to dig deep and find their sense of urgency.

“I told them that if they just want to relax, then we might as well go ahead and lose this game,” said Cortes, the man who has steered the University of the Visayas (UV) Green Lancers to three straight Cesafi championships.

Cortes shared that he told his team that they were playing for all the marbles and yet, they were playing like it was the start of the tournament.

Mandaue head coach Gary Cortes (center) speaks with his players Kenneth Brillo (left) and Gabriel Cometa (right) prior to the start of the second half of Game 2. CDN Digital photo | Brian J. Ochoa

With their coach’s words in mind, the Ballers regrouped an unleashed a ferocious 40-15 run in the third that not only erased Talisay City’s lead, but also put them in front for good en route to a series-equalizing 94-76 win on Thursday night, May 9, 2019 at the Mandaue City Cultural and Sports Complex.

“I told them that if they want to extend this series, then they should start playing their game. I’m just happy that they were able to respond and show that they weren’t just going to give up,” Cortes added.

A champion will be crowned on Saturday afternoon, May 11, 2019, as Game Three kicks off at the University of San Carlos gym. Game time is set at 3 p.m. /bmjo

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