Tim Cone voiced out his disappointment on the way Barangay Ginebra veered away from playing tough defense, the very thing that helped the Kings reach the PBA Governors Cup Finals this season.
The American coach was particularly displeased with the way the Kings allowed the Meralco Bolts to score inside and outside before a rather subdued pro-Ginebra crowd at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
With Reynel Hugnatan and Jimmy Alapag providing the outside shooting in the the last period, Meralco outlasted Ginebra, 107-103 on Wednesday to seize the series upperhand, 2-1.
The victory move the Bolts to within two more wins of capturing the franchise’s first-ever PBA crown right in its initial appearance in the Finals since joining the PBA in the 2010-11 season.
“Defensively, we weren’t real good. We gave 107 points, that’s just too many points,” rued Cone during the post-game talk with media.
The multi-titled coach felt Ginebra was overly dependent on import Justin Brownlee, who carried the Kings offensively with 42 points, including a 30-foot three-point shot with 11 seconds to push his team to within 105-107.
But Cone is hopeful that this tough loss would wake Ginebra up or be buried further this Friday by a revitalized Meralco side.
“We just didn’t play to our identity. I was upset from the first minute onwards, upset for 48 minutes,” he said.
“I just think we didn’t play to our identity, And if we’ve forgotten it, we have to remember it a hurry or these things will get away from us if we’re n’t careful,” added Cone. – Richard Dy
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