For a change, Barangay Ginebra coach Tim Cone finally got a chance to see Mark Caguioa and Jayjay Helterbrand flash their vintage forms, defying Father Time at least, for one quarter in Game 4 of the PBA Governors Cup.
Cone admitted the Kings were in panic mode when the Bolts shocked them with a lethal 32-4 run in the third quarter to take a 74-58 bubble.
“I don’t know what we’re doing out there in the third (quarter). We were swinging in the wind, doing nothing,” Cone said, moments after Ginebra avoided a 1-3 series hole after escaping with an 88-86 win Friday night.
But once the American mentor dug deep to his bench and fielded in Caguioa and Helterbrand, who was celebrating his 40th birthday on Friday, things began to take a radical shift.
Down by 16 points at the start of the final period, Helterbrand struck hard offensively, going three-of-three from the rainbow country.
By the time the 5-foot-11 Helterbrand buried his third and final triple of the game, Ginebra was already up, 79-76, its legion of fans alive once again and rocking the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
“That was a storybook thing. Mark and Jayjay doing their thing. It was amazing,” said Cone, who turned from coach to an instant fan of the Kings’ veteran backcourt combo known as “Fast and the Furious”.
“I’m kind of shock, to be honest with you. I just can’t imagine. I said outside that Jay and Mark, have just been truly chomping at the bit to get out there and play and play more minutes and make an impact on the series,” he added.
“We’ve been doing mostly with Sol (Mercado), LA (Tenorio) and Scottie (Thompson) in the Finals, but funny because the time we really, really, really need to step in and step up, they (Caguioa and Helterbrand) just had no fear out there, from my standpoint and from the fans standpoint. It’s really fun to watch and just great to be part of the game,” said a beaming Cone.
Helterbrand, who only had an eight-minute exposure in Game 1, before sitting out the next two games of the Finals, sealed his Game 4 heroics with 11 points.
Caguioa, on the other hand, chipped in eight markers, to go along with three rebounds, two assists and the same number of steals. – Richard Dy
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