Tim Cone credits ‘special kid’ Chris Gavina for Mahindra’s transformation

Barangay Ginebra may have inched closer to clinching a twice-to-beat edge, but coach Tim Cone expressed his displeasure over the way the Kings won the game against a fighting Mahindra side.

The American coach in fact, described their game as “disjointed”, largely due to the Enforcer’s solid defensive effort.

“It wasn’t pretty (win) that’s for sure. We probably played our most disjointed game of the conference and that goes to Mahindra,” Cone told the press after Ginebra escaped with a 93-86 win to improve to 7-2 to retain strong grip of second spot. “They really kept us unbalanced all game long.”

The 58-year-old Ginebra mentor also gave credit to Mahindra’s lead assistant coach Chris Gavina, who he describes as a “special kid”.

“That coach Gavina, he’s special, he a really good coach,” said Cone. “You see a lot of coaches come into the league but he’s like one of the best I’ve seen just step in and make a huge impact right away. He coached really well.”

Gavina managed to draw the best from his crew led by import James White, Paolo Taha and LA Revilla before closing in at 86-89 on a breakaway layup by rookie Bong Galanza.

But time simply ran out for the Enforcer, while Ginebra’s Justin Brownlee and LA Tenorio scored the last four points to seal the win.

“We don’t want to be another name on their list,” Cone stressed, aqware of Mahindra’s giant killing tag after beating Star, Alaska, San Miguel and TNT in the Governors Cup.

“The key is, you have to be ready to play ugly against them because they make you play ugly and get you frustrated which we did,” he added.

Ginebra managed to win its third straight despite turning the ball over 24 time, doubling Mahindra’s errors in the game. – Richard Dy

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