After coming out victorious in another Manila Clasico tussle, Barangay Ginebra coach Tim Cone praised his squad for exhibiting grace under pressure — something he believes the Gin Kings are gaining under his tutelage.
“Our team settled, we didn’t panic, we worked our way back to the game, that means our team is growing up a little bit. Down the stretch, good things happen to us and bad things happen to them, it just went that way,” said Cone after their 92-87 win Sunday night.
“Guys are developing their character and work their way out of the game. They didn’t panic, no quick shots, move the ball, come down in defense, that’s a mark of a good team,” said the multi-titled mentor.
With the 2 most popular ball clubs going at each other in front of more than 16,000 screaming fans, Cone was happy on how Ginebra stood tall when the Hotshots started rallying in the 3rd quarter.
The Gin Kings blew an 8-point lead in the 1st half as Star’s Mark Barroca sizzled with 14 points and 4 triples in the 3rd quarter to give the Hotshots a 74-66 advantage heading into the payoff period.
“I think Jason (Webb) made a great adjustment at halftime, came back with a big line up and that kinda threw us up off balance and of course Mark (Barroca) what Mark does in big games hitting big shots in the 3rd quarter,” said Cone.
A quick 4-point swing at the start of 4th and Japeth Aguilar’s big defensive stops in crunch time gave life to Ginebra, as they pulled off an inspired win against their rival.
Cone also credited his former team for giving another classic ballgame.
“It’s fun when the game lived up to its hype, Manila Clasico is such a big game through the years, each conference. It’s really fun when it lives up to the hype and has a great game on both sides. both teams played extremely well,” he said.
“Its kinda the game the fans really enjoy and we’re glad we give it to them and we’re glad that we come out on the winning side, tough game if we come out on the losing side especially our record is so-so right now.” — By Jason Mercene