Cone says Austria 'totally outcoached' him in Ginebra's Game 4 blowout loss

MANILA, Philippines – Tim Cone admitted he lost the battle of tactics against Leo Austria after Barangay Ginebra absorbed an 81-102 rout from the San Miguel Beermen in Game 4 of their best-of-7 semifinals series Thursday, March 15. 

The loss pushed the Gin Kings on the brink of crashing out of contention for the Philippine Cup finals and Cone is taking all the blame. 

“It was brilliant coaching by coach Leo. They played well but that comes from the bench. On the other hand, it was terrible coaching by me,” said the PBA’s winningest coach with 20 conference titles.

The Gin Kings looked far from the team that won Game 3 in convincing fashion, 95-87, on March 13, as the Beermen enjoyed the lead from the get-go in Game 4. 

Holding a 10-point advantage after the first period, 32-22, San Miguel broke the game wide open in the middle quarters and led by as much as 29 points, 84-55.

In Game 3, the Gin Kings shot 48% from the field and kept San Miguel to a 35% clip.

But it was a complete reversal of fortune in Game 4 with San Miguel burying 52% of its shot attempts compared to Ginebra's 43%. It also didn't help the Gin Kings' cause that they only had two players finishing in double figures while the Beermen had 6. 

"It really comes down to brilliant adjustments by coach Leo that we weren’t just prepared for. We should’ve been but we weren’t. And that’s on me," said Cone. 

Ginebra only has a day to prepare for Game 5 on Saturday, March 17, at the Cuneta Astrodome, and Cone is not one to dwell on the past with the series still ongoing.

“I was just totally outcoached and outclassed today, but we move forward from it.” –

Delfin Dioquino

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.