Cone says limiting Meralco’s Durham key as Ginebra tries to avoid 0-2 hole

Dropping the Finals-opening game may come as a shock, but Barangay Ginebra coach Tim Cone said his team isn’t discouraged by it.

The Kings blew a 16-point lead in the second half and allowed the Bolts to come out strong to steal Game 1, 114-109 in overtime in their PBA Governors Cup title series last Friday.

“We’re certainly disappointed with our play in Game 1, especially in that fourth quarter and overtime, but we’re not discouraged,” said Cone, whose team will try to bounce back and even the best-of-seven championship series at 1-1 on Sunday.

Game time is 6:30 p.m. at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

The American mentor said critical in preventing Meralco from taking a 2-0 lead is its defense on the Bolts’ hulking import Durham.

The 6-foot-4 Durham banged in seven points during the extension period as he took advantage of the absence of Japeth Aguilar, who fouled out with still over four minutes left on regulation.

“We feel we have a lot more to show in Game 2. Needless to say, however, we need to find an answer to Durham. He was just too dominant for us to overcome,” noted Cone.

Durham erupted for 42 points in Game 1 as he totally outclassed Ginebra’s Justin Brownlee, who only had 18.

Both reinforcements are contending for the Best Import Award, which will be given, along with the Best Player of the Conference before the Game 2 tip off. – Jason Mercene

Follow this writer on Twitter: @JasonMercenePH