Coach Tim: ‘We can play better than we did tonight’

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Mar 09, 2018 10:10 PM
Coach Tim: ‘We can play better than we did tonight’
Ginebra was unable to win a fourth game in the span of seven days

Ginebra had won three games in five days to make the semifinals of the 2018 PBA Philippine Cup.

The good endings finally ran out on them, however, in their fourth game in seven days.

Handily beaten by defending champion San Miguel on Friday, the Gin Kings now find themselves down, 0-1, in the best-of-seven series. “They lived up to their reputation. They played awesome and we didn’t play well,” head coach Tim Cone told reporters post-game.

Indeed, the Beermen stamped their class all over their opponents, dominating the departments of threes: 16-5, assists: 34-18, and turnovers: 18-25.

With the all-out domination, four-time MVP June Mar Fajardo didn’t even have to do much and only had nine points, seven rebounds, and three assists.

In Cone’s eyes, his wards just weren’t able to keep up with all of Arwind Santos, Marcio Lassiter, Alex Cabagnot, and even Von Pessumal. “Physically, we seemed to be okay, but mentally, we were a step slow,” he said.

The multi-titled mentor then said that Ginebra just ran out of gas in Game 1 of the semifinals. “We (came off) three grueling games against Rain or Shine. I think that kinda caught up with us tonight,” he said.

A week ago, the crowd favorites bested the Elasto Painters in triple-overtime to end the eliminations.

Three and again five days later, the two teams also went at it in the quarterfinals with the Gin Kings coming out on top.

It didn’t help, either, that Cone didn’t have his full arsenal with him as Greg Slaughter is yet to be cleared to play while Mark Caguioa also sat out of the game. Then during the game, he saw reserve guard Paolo Taha go down with an apparent knee injury.

Still, the Ginebra coach is adamant that there is nowhere to go but up from here. “We’re just gonna play through it. We can play better than we did tonight, that’s for sure – with or without Greg,” he remarked.

He then continued, “We’re gonna try and catch our breath. I believe we’re gonna play better as the series goes along.”

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Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo.

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