Yes.. if you put that motor together with near-zero end gap in the rings, you will ruin everything, very quickly.
Ring gaps are set before the rings are installed on the piston. Put the ring in the cylinder bore, about 1/3 of the way down. Use the piston skirt to square up the ring in the bore, then check the gap with a feeler gauge.
If the gap is too small, remove the ring, and file the gap. Repeat the measuring & filing process until you have the gap specified in the manual. Do this for all the rings.