Photo by PBA Images
MANILA, Philippines - It has been two months since Barangay Ginebra lorded over the Governors’ Cup, and Tim Cone is concerned that his players are still riding the high of winning their second championship in two years.
Cone wasn’t too pleased even though the Gin Kings pulled off a 104-97 comeback win against Globalport Batang Pier Sunday, January 7 to stay undefeated in two games in the 2018 PBA Philippine Cup.
To some, comeback victories are a testament of a team’s mettle but to Cone, it is a cause for worry moving forward into the season.
“Well, that's what teams coming from championships do. This is the way they do it. They sleepwalk for 3 and a half quarters, then try to win the game down the stretch. And this is something we really want to try to avoid,” said the PBA’s winningest tactician.
The Gin Kings were trailing throughout the first 3 quarters and headed into the fourth period with a 9-point deficit. It was not until the last few minutes that Ginebra imposed their experience and size en route to the triumph.
“In my experience, I've seen this, I've seen it with teams coming in. After a championship, they feel like they can just show up and win, and they don't play until they really have to. I'm very disturbed by that. We might have been better off losing this basketball game to wake us up and realize that we can't do that. Because now, it's going encourage us to do it again.”
“We think we can get away with it, and I've just known through experience, you just don't get away with those things over the long haul. And you get in the habit of doing that, you can lose to teams you're not supposed to lose to, and suddenly you're in a bad position for the playoffs and you don't make a run to the finals,” Cone added.
Ginebra will face the promising Blackwater Elite on Friday, and Cone hopes his wards break their bad habit of starting slow.
“This is something we need to get better at. We need to get ourselves fired up right from the very start of the basketball games and play.” – Rappler.com
Delfin Dioquino dreamt of being a PBA player, but he did not have the skills to make it. So he pursued the next best thing to being an athlete – to write about them. He took up journalism at the University of Santo Tomas and joined Rappler as soon as he graduated in 2017.